by Miguel Alfonso P. Sta. Ana and Krizza Lei T. Amoyan
Nutrition practitioners, government representatives, and academicians are expected to gather in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) for the first International Conference on Econutrition on July 4-5, 2013 at the SEARCA Auditorium in Los Baños, Laguna. The event is organized by the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food (IHNF) of the UPLB College of Human Ecology.
The conference is part of IHNF’s 25th anniversary celebration. According to Assistant Professor Angelina R. Bustos, the conference and the anniversary celebrations will be held in July despite the IHNF’s original anniversary dated May 18 to allow students to participate in the exhibits, forums, and conferences.
“Econutrition: The Nexus Among Human Nutrition, Ecology, and Economics” is the theme for the international conference. IHNF director Ma. Theresa Talavera. explains that “econutrition is the interrelationship among nutrition and human health, agriculture and food production, environmental health and economic development. The world has a growing need for food, and econutrition addresses this need by ensuring food and nutrition security worldwide.”
According to Assistant Professor Bustos, everyone is invited to attend the conference as nutrition is multi-disciplinary. Everyone will be able to relate on the issues and concepts which will be raised and presented by the experts, speakers, and the attendees themselves. Conference attendees are to pay Php 4,000 registration fee that covers conference kit, souvenir programs, and meals.
IHNF hopes that the conference benefits the public through what she referred to as “the multiplier effect”, where conference attendees who are mostly involved with the government, different NGOs, LGUs, and the academe, share concepts and information gained from the conference to the community and students they serve.
“Awareness and action from the national level down to the local government is what we hope to see,” Bustos said.
The conference can help LGUs on proposing regulations regarding nutrition. It may also help the students gain more knowledge which in time they will share to the greater population. On a personal level, an individual may gain a lot of knowledge and information on ensuring food and nutrition security.
As of June 28, about a hundred participants from different parts of the globe have pre-registered for the conference. The organizers expect the conference to be a venue for the alumni, faculty members, and students to reunite with the institute. They also envision this conference as a venue for the attendees to share updates and raise issues about econutrition and at the same time, serve as a venue for action planning for a need of intervention on econutrition.