Netherlands: consortium on personalised nutrition and health
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A society in which every individual can – and wants to – make a conscious choice to follow a nutritional program that precisely fits with what the individual needs. The Personalised Nutrition and Health consortium, an initiative of Wageningen University & Research and TNO, is researching the technology and knowledge needed to make personalised nutritional and health advice possible on a large scale. Tailor-made advice helps people learn and maintain healthy behaviours, and therefore has significant potential for the society to prevent nutrition-related issues, such as obesity and diabetes.
Scientists from a wide variety of disciplines are working together in the international consortium: from life scientists and behavioural scientists to data analysts and sensor technology specialists. Partners include Philips, Google Food, health insurance company Menzis, Dutch retail giants Albert Heijn and Jumbo, dairy producer FrieslandCampina, data provider PS in foodservice, ICT companies Noldus Information Technology and SmartWithFood, and eHealth companies VitalinQ Lifestyle Support, Sense Health , NIPED and Vital 10. The aim of the consortium is to convert the technology and knowledge into effective, personalised and scientifically supported products and services. Those products and services, in turn, will help people make healthier choices in what they buy, how they prepare food, and what they consume, but will also match their personality and social environment.
With the insights gathered from research, participating partners can, for example, develop tailor-made shopping lists, or apps with which users can closely monitor their health or can be advised and motivated to adapt their behaviour. The tremendous amount of information that users provide in these ‘do-it-yourself’ health monitors can also be used to promote the health effects of certain products, or for further research into nutrition, health and behaviour. Partners along the entire value chain – from farmers and food manufacturers to caterers and retailers – can add value for their consumers and contribute to a healthier society. Within the consortium protecting the privacy of consumers, consumer trust of the (nutritional) advice and making free choices by consumers are important subjects of the research programme.
Top Sector Agri & Food
The Personalised Nutrition and Health consortium is a long-term, public/private partnership within the Agri & Food Top Sector. The consortium is being matched with other, more fundamental projects within this sector, which are being funded by organisations such as the Top Institute Food and Nutrition (TiFN) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The consortium’s research consists of sub-projects that last around two to three years. Partners – including both multinationals and small- and medium-sized enterprises – can participate in either a part of the program, or in the entire program. The consortium is open to new partners.