Viva International Congress

V is for vegetable: applying learning theory to liking and intake of vegetables -
how can science contribute to healthy eating habits in the youngest and beyond?

21-22 March 2013

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Invited Speakers

The rich scientific programme consisted of keynote addresses and invited lectures from world leading scientists including:

You can download the speaker abstracts here.

Professor Louise Richardson University of St Andrews, UK

Louise RichardsonLouise Richardson is Professor of International Relations and Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews. A native of Ireland, she received a BA and MA in History from Trinity College, Dublin and an MA and PhD in Government from Harvard University. For twelve years she was a professor of Government at Harvard. Immediately prior to her 2009 appointment, she was Executive Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and was instrumental in the transformation of Radcliffe, once a women’s college, into an interdisciplinary centre promoting scholarship across a wide range of academic fields and the creative arts.

A political scientist by training, Professor Richardson has specialised in international security with an emphasis on terrorist movements. Her publications include, Democracy and Counterterrorism: Lessons from the Past (2007), What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat (2006), The Roots of Terrorism (2006), and When Allies Differ (1996). She has written numerous articles on international terrorism, British foreign and defence policy, security institutions, and international relations. She serves on the editorial boards of a number of academic journals and presses related to security studies. Professor Richardson has been awarded the Sumner Prize for work towards the prevention of war and the establishment of universal peace. In 2010, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2011, she was appointed to the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Professor Marion Hetherington University of Leeds, UK

Marion HetheringtonProfessor Hetherington is a biopsychologist with more than 25 years experience of research on appetite regulation across the lifespan. She is known for her work on short term influences on food intake, and has more recently investigated gene-environment interactions in the development of obesity. Her current research focuses on early determinants of food preference development in young children.

She is the scientific coordinator of the EU funded IAPP – VIVA and is involved in the EU FP7 HabEat programme researching the formation and breaking of eating habits in children.

Professor Leann Birch The Pennsylvania State University, US

Leann BirchLeann L. Birch, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Nutritional Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University, where she also holds an appointment in the Department of Pediatrics.  She has been conducting research on factors that influence the developing controls of food intake during infancy, childhood, and adolescence for 30 y.   This research has provided insight into individual and familial factors implicated in the development of food preferences and eating behaviors and risk and protective factors for childhood obesity.  Dr. Birch is internationally recognized for her research and is the author of more than 200 publications.  She has served on the Council of Scientific Advisors to the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center, and has served as a member of the National Academy of Science, Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Prevention of Obesity in Children and Youth.  Currently, she is a member of the Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention.  She received the Centrum Award for Human Nutrition from the American Society of Nutrition and was awarded the Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Social and Behavioral Sciences as well as the Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Research Career Award from the Pennsylvania State University.  She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Michigan.

Professor John Reilly University of Strathclyde, UK

John ReillyProfessor John Reilly is head of the Physical Activity for Health research group within the School of Psychological Sciences and Health, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. He has been chair of the UK Health Departments and BHF Working Group on Physical Activity Recommendations for the Early Years, 2009-2011 and a member of the UK Health Departments and BHF Working Group on Physical Activity Recommendations for Children and Young People, 2009-2011; he was appointed to Associate Editor, International Journal of Pediatric Obesity in 2006. John’s interests include interventions to promote physical activity in children; interventions to prevent and treat childhood obesity, in the developed and developing world; physiological and epidemiological studies of the contribution of physical activity to the aetiology of childhood obesity; and the effects of physical activity on cognition in childhood.

Professor Harriet Oster New York University, US

Harriet OsterHarriet Oster teaches at New York University, where she is a Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Paul McGhee Division of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. She earned a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and completed a 2-year NIMH-funded postdoctoral research traineeship at U. C. San Francisco, where she worked with Paul Ekman, a leading expert on facial expressions of emotion. Dr. Oster’s fine-grained, anatomically based Facial Action Coding System for Infants and Young Children (Baby FACS) is an adaptation for infants and children of Ekman and Friesen’s adult FACS. Baby FACS is uniquely suited to studying facial behavior related to sensory, perceptual, and cognitive processes, social interaction, emotion, and emotion regulation. It has proved to be a sensitive tool for investigating the innate sensory capacities and hedonic responses of newborn infants, as shown in her study with Diana Rosenstein demonstrating differential facial responses to sweet, sour, bitter, and salty tastes in two-hour-old infants.

Dr. Oster’s research has addressed long-standing questions about the origins and development of facial expressions of emotion, including studies of pre-term and full term infants, infants with craniofacial anomalies and their mothers, and studies of infants in China, Japan, and the U.S. Recent collaborative projects include a study of young infants’ facial responses to the pain of inoculation and a study of toddlers’ responses to frustration. A collaborative study of fetal facial expressions is in the planning stages.

Professor Mary Rudolf University of Leeds, UK

Mary RudolfProfessor Mary Rudolf is currently based in the Faculty of Medicine in the Galil Bar Ilan University, Israel in Tzfat. Mary is a Professor of Child Health at the University of Leeds and consultant paediatrician with the Leeds PCT. Mary is one of the two founders of HENRY (Health Exercise Nutrition for the Really Young). She is a member of the HENRY Board of Trustees and HENRY’s paediatric director. Her area of expertise lies in the epidemiology, treatment and prevention of child obesity. Mary is the author of ‘Tackling obesity in the preschool years: a framework for action‘ commissioned by the Department of Health, which provides the research and evidence base that underpins the HENRY approach.

Dr Mary Fewtrell University College London, UK

Dr Fewtrell is Reader in Childhood Nutrition and Honorary Consultant Paediatrician at the UCL Institute of Child Health, London. She trained asa Paediatrician and has worked in Infant & Child Nutrition Research for the past 19 years. Her research interests include the programming of health outcomes by early nutrition and growth, investigated in randomised nutritional intervention trials in both term and preterm infants, with long-term follow-up; and practical aspects of infant nutrition, particularly lactation and weaning.

Professor Kees de Graaf Wageningen University, Netherlands

Kees de GraafKees de Graaf is a nutritionist by training. He did his MSc and PhD at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. His PhD-thesis (1988) focused on “Psychophysical studies of mixtures of tastants”. He is currently Professor in Sensory Science and Eating Behavior at the Division of Human Nutrition of Wageningen University.

He has published over 150 original research papers in international peer reviewed journals. The main issues of the papers refer to psychological and biological determinants of food intake and food choice. Main research interests concern the meaning of sensory signals for eating behaviour. One of the main lines of research focuses on development of taste preferences in infants, toddlers, and older children. The main question is on how we can get children to learn to like and choose vegetables. Another research line focuses on sensory processes, satiety and regulation of food intake in relation to obesity.

Professor Charlotte Wright University of Glasgow, UK

Charlotte WrightCharlotte Wright is a paediatrician and epidemiologist whose research into growth, nutrition and screening in early childhood has provided important evidence to underpin child health practice worldwide. Her interest in nutrition began with the study failure to thrive, but now extends to all aspects of growth and feeding in preschool children and obesity in older children. She previously set up the Parkin Project and the Gateshead Millennium cohort on Tyneside. She holds a personal professorship in Community Child Health at Glasgow University and is based at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow where she works half time as a Paediatrician specialising in nutritional problems. The rest of her time is spent working in nutrition and public health related research and teaching. She also heads the RCPCH growth chart working group who designed the new UK-WHO growth charts.

Dr Sophie Nicklaus Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Dijon, France

Sophie NicklausDr Sophie Nicklaus is a research scientist based at INRA – Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique • Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l’Alimentation (CSGA) in Dijon. She is coordinator of the OPALINE project (the Observatory of Infant and Children’s Food Preferences) and is involved in European projects such as HabEat. The OPALINE project has followed intensively the food preferences of a cohort of 314 children monitored from their birth to the age of 2 and has since been extended to collect data at ages 3, 4 and 6 years. Dr Nicklaus is an expert on taste development and on food preferences established early in life tracking into later life. Her research in early life has been instrumental in elaborating the importance of taste exposure in milk and during weaning in shaping food preferences and intake.

Dr Sylvie Issanchou FLAVIC

Sylvie Issanchou

Dr Lucy Cooke University College London, UK

Lucy CookeDr Lucy Cooke is a Senior Research Associate in the Health Behaviour Research Centre in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London. She is a member of the National Steering Group for Childhood Feeding Disorders and a Trustee of the new charity the First Steps Nutrition Trust.After acquiring a first class degree in Psychology at UCL, Lucy went on to complete a Masters degree in Health Psychology and was awarded a PhD for research into children’s eating habits in 2006. Her research is concerned with the development and modification of young children’s eating habits. She has lead a number of studies within the Research Centre including the ‘Poppets’ study which aimed to characterise aspects of family food environments associated with healthier and less healthy dietary patterns in preschool children using a survey methodology. The second phase of this project involved the testing of a habit theory-based intervention to reduce unhealthy drinking and snacking behaviours and increase fruit and vegetable consumption. Lucy is also principal investigator on a NPRI/MRC funded project investigating the influence of incentives on children’s consumption of vegetables and is task leader for a randomised controlled trial of a weaning intervention – part of the EU FP7 HabEat project.

Professor Jaap Seidell VU University, Netherlands

Jaap SeidellJacob (Jaap) C. Seidell, PhD is professor of Nutrition and Health, and director of the Institute for Health Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit and the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is also scientific director of the Research Center on Obesity Prevention Zwolle (OPOZ), chairman of the Partnership Overweight Netherlands (PON), chairman of the scientific advisory board of the European EPODE Network (integrated prevention of overweight in children) and chairman of the scientific committee of the Choices Foundation (on food labelling and nutrient profiling). He is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of the Netherlands.

At the VU University Jaap Seidell is responsible for research and academic training (BSc, MSc, PhD) in health sciences at the VU University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. His own research topics include studies on the causes and consequences of overweight and obesity and related disorders, and the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions aimed at prevention and management of overweight and obesity and related disorders.

Disciplines of research include genetics, endocrinology, physiology, epidemiology, psychology, behavioral sciences, health economics, public health. List of scientific publications.

Dr Jackie Blissett University of Birmingham, UK

Dr Jackie Blissett is a Reader in Childhood Eating Behaviour in the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, UK. Her research interests are focussed on the affective and cognitive factors which determine detrimental parenting behaviour and parent child interaction, particularly in the context of feeding and eating problems. Projects examine parental development and use of controlling feeding practices; maternal mental health and parenting from pregnancy through early childhood; the development of children’s eating behaviour including children’s taste sensitivity, fruit and vegetable preferences, and emotional eating; feeding practices in families with children who have diabetes and/or obesity; the role of infant cortisol metabolism in growth and feeding, and examination of parent-child interaction in feeding contexts from infancy to adolescence.

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