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ILSI’s Contributions to United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021 Events

September 23, 2021

The United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021 (UNFSS21) will be hosted in New York City today. This summit aims "to empower all people to leverage the power of food systems to drive our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and get us back on track to achieve all [UN] 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030."

ILSI shares many of the same goals, and during the UNFSS21 Pre-Summit in July, we hosted an affiliated session on healthy aging. Titled "Ensuring Healthy Aging Through Supportive Diets," this event featured important discussions on nutrition, scientific cooperation, public-private partnerships and inclusivity of older populations.

Older couple preparing a salad together.The experts convened at ILSI's event discussed how improved nutrition in aging populations can support immune systems, reduce viral infections, delay cognitive decline, help manage chronic diseases, and reduce the risk of sarcopenia and the loss of muscle mass in older adults. Providing more appropriate, sustainable diets for seniors can help achieve UN SDGs 3, 4, 9, 10, 12 and 17.

While this event was organized by ILSI, it was also co-sponsored by the University of Leeds, University of Southampton, N8 AgriFood, Abbott, the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and the Global Food and Environment Institute at the University of Leeds.

In addition, the ILSI Southeast Asia (SEA) Region hosted another event earlier in July for the UNFSS21 Science Days. This event, titled “Science and Sustainable Food Systems in Southeast Asia: Challenges and Ways Forward,” focused on the diverse cultures, diets and stages of economic development in SEA. The discussion presented the challenges and opportunities for innovation and science in helping to determine optimum diets (including indigenous foods), encourage sustainable agricultural productivity and provide paths to reduced environmental impact.

As the UNFSS21 "People's Summit" wraps up this week, the ILSI community looks forward to how we can all work together across communities, countries and continents to improve nutrition, food safety and sustainability for everyone.