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SCIENTISTS IN DIRECT CONTACT WITH COSUMERS:

The need to enhance communication and translation of our understanding of the binomial ‘HEALTH-DIET’

Special events

The Week of Science at the Spanish National Research Institution, CSIC. 

The Department of Food Science & Technology at CEBAS (Murcia) and the Research Institute on Food Science CIAL (Madrid), both part of the Spanish National Research Institution CSIC, participated in the 2016 edition of ‘The Science Week’ (November). The events took place in the city gardens of the ‘Malecon’ near the river in Murcia and, in the CIAL Institute at the University Autónoma, Campus of Cantoblanco in Madrid, respectively.  During the event, members from both Institutions presented the workshop entitled ‘The role of Food in Health and the reasons behind the differences between individuals’. During the activities, the researchers talked to the consumers about general aspects of the investigation they carry out: Food & Health, Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, Cardiometabolic Diseases and the issue of the Interindividual Variability and the POSITIVe project. In addition, and by means of a questionnaire, the participants were asked about their appreciation of a healthy diet and of the response to diet. The attendees were also offered the possibility of having some cardiometabolic risk factors (BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure) measured. It was very interesting to chat with many of them and to find out that an increasing number of people, both younger and older, is truly concerned about their metabolic health and is willing to learn more about how to promote health with the diet.  The week of the Science became, once again, an excellent scenario of communication and interaction between the scientific community and the general public.

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Spanish Consumers’ General Understanding of Metabolic Diseases and how they may be Influenced by Diet and Novel Foods: a Preliminary Survey. Laura Laguna, Begoña Bartolomé, M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas, M. Teresa García-Conesa. Research Article – Nutr Res Food Sci J. 2018 DOI: 10.31038/NRFSJ.1000102

European Researchers’ Night, Olsztyn, Poland

In September 29, 2017, POSITIVe Partner, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research PAS organized in Olsztyn (Poland) one of the largest science celebration events in Europe – Researchers’ Night. Through a vast array of experiments, science shows and workshops researchers advocated a crucial role of science in our everyday life, dispelling negative stereotypes around research work, and building mutual trust with the society at large. Everyone could find first-hand answers to the questions concerning health, nutrition, technology or engineering. Institute invited Night’s guests to visit usually inaccessible laboratories offering experiments with antioxidants, workshops on microbiology and methods of assessing the prohealth value of everyday food products. Institute’s researchers prepared a presentation introducing school children, their teachers and parents to the mission of COST POSITIVe, pro-health values of plant food bioactives and the phenomenon of inter-individual variability. During workshops “Build your health”, young students learnt what is the new food pyramid, how it is built, what are the factors affecting its composition (age, sex, lifestyle), and how did it change over the last decades. Kids and youngsters built a proper, up-to-date pyramid using magnets representing different food products, paying a special attention to those containing plant-based bioactive compounds. Then, participants were challenged to differentiate products as to their beneficial and potentially harmful effects on a human body. Here they were familiarized with the aspects of interindividual variability and other determinants affecting the response of our organism to biologically active compounds. During the entire event, children acquired a new knowledge concerning informed nutritional choices and importance of physical activity.

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POSITIVe and Europe Direct

POSITIVe was presented to the general public at a EUROPE DIRECT (http://europa.eu/europedirect/) meeting held at the European Centre for Industry and Innovation (CEEIM, University Campus of Murcia, SPAIN) on the 3rd of March (2015). The EUROPE DIRECT service aims to:

i) enhance the visibility of the EU actions in matters of education, mobility, employment, citizenship, R+D, environment, etc, 

ii) encourage citizens´ participation stressing the relevance and impact of the European institutions in everyday life.

The Europe Direct office in Murcia has launched several campaigns in this direction ("Me, European citizen") to strengthen the sense of the EU membership. The past meeting celebrated at the University of Murcia was part of this strategy and included invitations to researchers from Murcia taking part in European programs and projects.

Dr. María-Teresa García-Conesa attended this meeting and explained to the audience the objectives and relevance of the COST Action POSITIVe.

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POSITIVe promotional video

On the occasion of POSITIVe partners meeting in Olsztyn, Poland, a regional television recorded a promotional video about our Cost Action and broadcast it in the social media. This allowed to bring the public attention to POSITIVe objectives, findings and expected impacts foe the end users.