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IFT session looks at changes in dietary fat and heart disease paradigm

SACRAMENTO May 25, 2010 New research shows the type of fat is much more important than total fat in determining an individual's risk of heart disease and that there are numerous factors beyond dietary fat that affect one's risk leading to a shift in the age-old dietary fat and heart disease paradigm.

To help food industry professionals gain a current and futuristic perspective of the consumer's knowledge, attitudes and beliefs around dietary fat as well as understand the new research and its potential impact on their products, Dairy Council of California will host a special session at the 2010 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo being held July 17-20 in Chicago.

Titled "Dietary Fat and Heart Disease: Time for a Paradigm Shift?," expert speakers will provide an outline of the epidemiological and clinical research in this area, summarize current U.S. and worldwide recommendations for dietary fat in light of heart disease risk, and provide the food industry with guidelines for what to expect in regards to consumer demand for sources and types of fat in the food supply.

"We want session attendees to walk away with a more complete understanding of factors affecting heart disease risk beyond saturated fat and blood cholesterol levels such as physical activity, body weight, blood pressure and adequate consumption of essential nutrients," said Lori Hoolihan, Ph.D., R.D., Dairy Council of California research specialist and coordinator of the session. "By the end of the session food industry professionals will have a clearer understanding of how this diet-heart disease paradigm is shifting and what they can do to optimize their product development and marketing opportunities."

Research specialists scheduled to speak during the session include:

  • Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., professor, Penn State University. Dr. Kris-Etherton will present a review of fats and fatty acid requirements, factors involved in establishing the dietary fat and fatty acid recommendations, and new research on effects of diet on risk factors for coronary heart disease that may impact future recommendations.

  • Mark Pereira, Ph.D., associate professor, Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, University of Minnesota. Dr. Pereira will present the epidemiological research on influence of diet on atherosclerosis progression, looking at specific nutrients such as carbohydrate, total fat, and saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Evidence will be presented indicating the diet-heart paradigm is modified by dietary components including omega-3 fatty acids, trans fatty acids, types of carbohydrates and food including nuts, legumes, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. He will also review the new World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization dietary fat recommendations.

  • Roger Clemens, Ph.D., associate director, Regulatory Science Program, School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California. Dr. Clemens' presentation will focus on application of the changing dietary fat-heart disease paradigm to the food industry. After years of providing the consumer low-fat and non-fat products to reduce risk of heart disease, how should food manufacturers respond to the changing nutritional environment around dietary fats?

Cindy Schweitzer, Ph.D., technical director, Global Dairy Platform, will moderate the session which will take place on Monday, July 19 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in room S403ab in the Chicago Convention Center.


Contact: Jessica Northrup
Dairy Council of California

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