Up to now, the impact of policies aiming for significant and sustainable changes in dietary, physical activity and/or sedentary behaviours conducted across Europe has not been assessed or evaluated systematically. In order to counter this, the JPI HDHL decided to build the Policy Evaluation Network (PEN) supported by six participating countries: Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland.
The Call Steering Committee has now decided to fund the 26 selected research groups which submitted the joint proposal in September 2017.

JPI HDHL is delighted to announce that Poland has joined the call “Nutrition & the Epigenome”.
Germany and Spain (ISCIII) have also finalized their participation. In total 11 countries support collaborative research projects that gain a better understanding of the diet- epigenome relationships and their effect on human health. Research in the area of nutrition & the epigenome is expected to provide insights that allow the development and scientific substantiation of intervention strategies for sustaining good health through all life stages and treating nutrition-related diseases.

Please check the call documents for all information. (Note; the call text and guidelines for applicants have been updated).
Despite a wealth of data on how nutrients and diets may support cognitive functions and preserve brain health, the therapeutic and pharmacological potential of these natural compounds still remains to be fully translated in humans and in clinical conditions.
ILSI, one of the members of the JPI HDHL SHAB is organizing a Symposium on “Nutrition for the Ageing Brain: Moving Towards Clinical Applications” with the purpose to debate with experts the potential for maintaining cognitive function through dietary intake. The Symposium will take place on 30-31 August 2018 in Madrid, Spain.

Although various organisations have endorsed the principle of providing the scientific community with access to individual participant data from clinical trials, and several initiatives promote data sharing and have provided recommendations, a global consensus is needed. Within the H2020-funded CORBEL project, ECRIN (the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network) working with a large, international group of experts, produced a consensus document listing clear, broadly based and pragmatic recommendations supporting the sharing and reuse of individual-participant data from clinical trials. The CORBEL project continued its webinar series debating these recommendations on Feb 27, 2018 at 3.30 PM.

A crucial challenge of the Joint Programming Process is the alignment of national and European research programmes and activities with the vision and the strategic research agenda endorsed by the participating countries. The goal of alignment activities is the reorientation of country’s national programmes, priorities or activities as a consequence of the adoption of a common research agenda. This research agenda aims to strengthen the food, nutrition and health research community and improve efficiency of investments. To support a broad implementation of the Strategic Research Agenda of JPI HDHL, a Toolbox has been made available on the JPI HDHL website with practical materials to be used at national level to promote discussion about JPI HDHL,

On European and global level there is a substantial amount of international initiatives that partly or fully relate with the scope and objectives of JPI HDHL. Over 100 organizations-initiatives have been identified that are active on an European or Global level to programme, promote, support and or develop the ERA on food, nutrition, physical activity and health.
The Stakeholder Framework searching tool has been made available on the JPI HDHL website that can help to find JPI’s stakeholders and initiatives per JPI HDHL pillar and/or subcategory.

To know more about JPI HDHL SHAB members, an interview with Anne de Looy, the representative of EFAD, has been carried out.

EFAD is the European Federation for the associations of dietitians and it is a member of the SHAB for pillar 3: Diet & Chronic Diseases. The President Anne de Looy has given an insight into the interest of EFAD in the JPI HDHL, potential area of collaboration and personal interest in participating in the activities of SHAB.

Dietitians are working all over Europe and they are committed to helping people change their diets and food intake, in order to improve the quality of their life. That may mean that the impact of a chronic condition is reduced or that they simply feel better for a longer, healthy life. Dietitians are qualified nutritionists, but they have also been educated in how to talk with and counsel people. And this is really important, because the only way to impact on a person’s food intake is to understand where that person is coming from and its economic and social conditions and to understand the science behind the advice that is given to it. EFAD’s aim is to support those professionals to do their very best with the population of Europe at all levels because “everybody knows about food, but not everybody knows about nutrition“.

The broad scope of JPI HDHL is what makes it so interesting to EFAD. Because if what comes out of this initiative and its research projects, is something that can improve and benefit a healthy life, dietitians need to know about that. Dietitians are always hungry for information which will benefit their client group. Not only do they want to help their clients to the best of their abilities, they want to be part of the research agenda too. Therefore, dietitians are disappointed that they don’t hear scientists saying “and we engaged dietitians to help us to put this diet together, to help us understand why this is important and to help us implement the modifications”. That is not to say that they are not involved, but they don’t hear about it.

In EFAD there are 34 National Dietetic Association members, representing over 35,000 dietitians in 27 European countries and 35 Education Associate Members, covering an additional two EU countries. They have newsletters, conferences, websites, Facebook, Twitter; so they are communicating all the time with their colleagues. They could feed information, even if it is only preliminary, to their colleagues who then can think about it, implement it or help find solutions. So it saddens Anne de Looy that dietitians don’t have this degree of partnership. JPI HDHL talks about translational research and dietitians are willing and able to help. For instance talking about connecting to all kinds of stakeholders, dietitians can be an important link between research and patients or the broader population because “it’s not until something awakens you, that you start hearing about it“.

Research and evidence based practice is the main EFAD driver to be a SHAB member for the third JPI HDHL pillar. Attending the SHAB meetings it is a way for Anne de Looy to keep EFAD dietitians updated about developments and people from various parts of the JPI have spoken at EFAD conferences.
JPI HDHL is doing a great job in funding research. But it could improve by asking “What is the application?”, “What are recommendations?”, “What is the impact?”. Anne de Looy can always appreciate the science, but she always thinks: “How is that going to benefit the health professional and, more importantly, the general public?”.

Looking at what can JPI HDHL do for EFAD some relevant questions should be taken into account.
‘Are the outcomes of JPI HDHL making a difference to the general population? What impact has HDHL had on changing the profile of health for the European community? Are we really serious about a HDHL, are we impacting on this? So the Anne de Looy’s key question is: who is going to look at the results of the JPI in 10 years time and say “that was a good thing to do”?

At the MaNuEL project mid-term seminar it was stated that diet counseling and supplements have the biggest impact on weight gain. There have been countless studies showing that one-to-one counseling works! Because people are unique and they need that kind of support. A bench study by Dutch dietitians wanted to know what the benefit was of having dietetic counseling. This report stated that one-to-one counseling with the husband, wife or child could lead to the whole family changing their dietary habits. So you mustn’t just look at the one-to-one but you must also look at the impact it has on the family. And it doesn’t necessarily stop there, it might have an influence at the workplace as well. More research is needed to prove that.

Anne de Looy is not only the EFAD’s President, but she also was the first professor of dietetics in the UK, and probably in Europe. That was really important for the profession.

Being a SHAB member, she gets to know about the most up-to-date science that is going on. And generally, she finds it very important that JPI can give her information, but that she can give information as well. For her being a SHAB member means listening on both sides.

What does a healthy diet for a healthy life mean to Anne de Looy? A healthy diet, healthy life is almost undefinable. Based on the sheer diversity of people and the culture we live in, it means that what constitutes health and a healthy diet is very complex. So it’s an enormous challenge but she thinks that a healthy diet for a healthy life more or less means: you look at each individual and you essentially say: “how can I help you?”

“At the end of the day, you can have as many policies as you like about healthy diet - healthy life, you have to interact with people for it to be meaningful.”
JPI HDHL is delighted to announce that Latvia intends to participate in the call “Nutrition & the Epigenome”. In total 10 countries intend to participate in this new call. The aim of the call is to support transnational, collaborative research projects that gain a better understanding of the diet- epigenome relationships and their effect on human health. Research in the area of nutrition & the epigenome is expected to provide insights that allow the development and scientific substantiation of intervention strategies for sustaining good health through all life stages and treating nutrition-related diseases.

The central objective of the Fit4Food2030 project, that started in November 2017, is to establish a self-sustaining FOOD2030 platform.

The Fit4Food City Labs and Policy Labs are important building blocks of this platform.

The City Labs will develop hands-on trainings for students, consumers, researchers and professionals linking science centres and science shops in Europe to the network of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, bringing a wide diversity of actors together.

The seven cities where a City Lab will be run by a local science shop or museum are now known.