Project leader: Kieran Tuohy, Fondazione Edmund Mach

Web communication: Anna Eriksson,  (E-STaR) Fondazione Edmund Mach,

Bando "I comunicatori STAR della scienza", Provincia Autonoma di Trento

EFH | Food in Euregio

Adding value to food nutritional quality for a healthy diet and environment

Edited by project E-STaR, October 2018

Feeling good is a result of what we eat, our genetics, sedentary lifestile and everyday movement, as well as our exercise, mental health or sleep capacities. Yet, the eating habits (when we eat, how we eat) and the nutritional value of what we eat, are among the main underlying explanations for our major public health issues such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and common cancers.

There have been made many studies on the role of food for protection from diseases. The “Seven countries study” of cardiovascular diseases contributed to the definition and development of the Mediterranean diet concept in the 1950s (Menotti et al., 2015) and the huge interest for diets can be seen on PubMed, where there are more than 3000 scientific articles only about the Mediterranean diet.
The food nutritional quality is a concept that relates directly to health and which stretches across dietary recommendations, irrespective of geography or food culture. The research about food nutritional quality aims to understand better the biological function of different nutrients in food, how they are digested once eaten and how they work in the human body to mediate health effects.

The project EUREGIO-EFH will make the effort to measure the food nutritional quality of local mountain foods in order to generate a local food map based on nutritional quality in the Euregio regions Trentino, South Tyrol and Austria. The project will test how the nutrients present in a selection of mountain products will impact on the biology underlying obesity and metabolic disease when being consumed by obese people. This information, as part of a much wider effort across the world, will help us design better foods and diets for fighting obesity and also at a local level provide a driver for increasing production or diversification of local food chains for a sustainable agricultural landscape.

Menotti A., Puddu P.E. (2015). How the Seven Countries Study contributed to the definition and development of the Mediterranean diet concept: a 50 year journey. Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases 25: 245-252