Inaugural World Summit on Food and Health in Paris Convened Innovative Thinkers from Science, Medicine, Culinary, Technology, and Aerospace Fields to Address Global Health Crisis
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The nonprofit Angiogenesis Foundation (www.angio.org) announced today its commitment to battle and prevent cancer and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) — cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory and neurodegenerative conditions — using food and beverages that contain naturally occurring bioactive factors that stimulate individuals’ health defense systems. The announcement follows the Inaugural World Summit on Food and Health convened by the Foundation on November 13, 2015, in Paris, France.
“While we will continue to work with the biotech and medical community to develop disease treatments and cures, food and disease prevention will be a major new focus for the Angiogenesis Foundation,” said William W. Li, M.D., President and Medical Director of the Angiogenesis Foundation. “Nearly 80 percent of chronic diseases and premature deaths, including cancer, can be prevented by dietary and lifestyle decisions. We are acting now because current efforts to reduce disease burden are based almost solely on pharmaceutical solutions — including those we helped to create — and this is economically unsustainable as the world population, incidence of non-communicable diseases, and cost of healthcare escalate.”
For the past decade, the Angiogenesis Foundation has been conducting research, and gathering scientific, clinical, and public health evidence that reveal diet can have as powerful a potential for preventing diseases as drugs have for treating them. The Foundation, said Dr. Li, will harness the scientific knowledge it has amassed in drug development over the past 20 years, and apply it to food to create an evidence-based and accessible health solution.
Medical treatments that control angiogenesis – the process used by the body to grow new blood vessels – have become mainstream approaches for combating cancer, vision loss caused by aging and diabetes, and chronic wounds. While pharmaceuticals will continue to play a vital role for disease intervention, the Angiogenesis Foundation believes that dietary factors combined with behavioral change can aid the body’s vascular, immune, regenerative, and other health defense systems to protect against disease.
“We set out to change the paradigm of disease treatment in 1994,” said Chris Bonar, VMD, Chairman of the Angiogenesis Foundation. “Now it’s time to change it again, this time to broaden the concepts from Pharma to Farm.”
The Foundation’s World Summit on Food and Health assembled leaders and innovators from across the globe, including some of the most successful creative minds in life sciences, food chemistry, culinary arts, public health, human and veterinary medicine, business, technology, activism, and engineering, to discuss ideas and best practices for the summit’s goal: determining how to most effectively employ food to fight disease and maintain health. Participants included: chefs Heston Blumenthal and Yannick Alleno, U2’s The Edge, U.S. astronaut Nicole Stott, food innovation guru Bernhard Van Lengerich, Quantified Self movement founder Gary Wolf, board members of the Angiogenesis Foundation, leaders from the World Health Organization, Karolinska Institute, University of Mainz, Pennsylvania State University, Multimedica Milan, and many other top institutions. Bringing together experts from many disciplines, said Dr. Li, cross-fertilizes ideas and helps to create high-impact collaborations that groups working in traditional silos often can’t achieve.
Summit participants discussed the scientific evidence that specific foods and beverages contain factors with health promoting biological activities, and consuming them in precise quantities is associated with reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other NCDs, with an overall improvement in health. The resulting consensus: specific actions should be taken to develop, validate, and communicate scientifically informed dietary strategies for disease prevention and wellness.
Among the next steps to be pursued by the Angiogenesis Foundation are to:
1. Establish and fund a new global research consortium that merges life science, food science, and public health research to unlock the health benefits of food, from the molecular to population level scale.
2. Create a technology platform that makes new insights on food, science, and health universally accessible to stakeholders around the world.
3. Engage educators, chefs, and food innovators to generate scalable impact for their communities through education, meal design, geolocation, and new food products.
“The world doesn’t need another food movement,” said Dr. Li. “We need science and evidence, and importantly, good flavor, to be the foundation for informed decision-making for dietary health from childhood through our elderly years. Food can taste great, and be great for you.”
About The Angiogenesis Foundation
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and founded in 1994, the Angiogenesis Foundation (www.angio.org) is a nonprofit organization that leads the development of health advances based on angiogenesis, the process used by the body to grow new blood vessels. The Foundation’s work has helped bring to the world more than 35 new treatments for cancer, diabetes, and vision loss. Now entering its third decade, the Foundation is expanding its vision to disease prevention and wellness through diet and lifestyle.
Learn more about the Foundation’s work on disease-fighting by viewing the following TED talks:
To support the Foundation’s mission, donations can be made at https://www.angio.org/donate/
SOURCE: The Angiogenesis Foundation