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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VIVA Project & Partners

V is for vegetable: applying learning theory to increase liking and intake of vegetables
EU FP7 Marie Curie: ‘Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways’ (IAPP): Jun 2009 – May 2013

Background

It is now well-established that consuming fruits and vegetables promotes health and well-being. In particular, intake of fruits and vegetables protects against cancer and is associated with lower levels of obesity. Consumption of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is predicted by the extent to which these foods are liked. However, vegetable intakes remain relatively low, especially in children. Establishing preference for vegetables early in a child s development provides the best opportunity to enhance intake and to promote preferences which will last throughout life. Most children in Europe fail to consume recommended 5 per day portions of fruits and vegetables and many fail to meet minimum recommendations to eat just one portion of vegetables each day.

The VIVA project has three main aims: to compare different methods of introducing complimentary foods in member states which best predict liking of vegetables in the first year of life; to develop and test an optimal weaning strategy to promote vegetable acceptance in infants; and to increase liking and intake of vegetables in children aged 4-5 years using flavour-flavour and flavour-consequence learning. The main outcomes of this research programme are the development of a weaning strategy with an emphasis on early and sustained exposure to vegetable flavours; identification and development of new products to facilitate liking for vegetables and preparing an evidence-base for enhancing intake of vegetables in school age children.

As part of the VIVA project, we are organising this International Congress to bring together internationally recognised experts in the field of child health, behaviour and nutrition to present the latest research findings on infant feeding and how healthy eating habits can be encouraged from infancy onwards.  At this meeting, we will also showcase the findings of our VIVA research. 

Partners

Academic partners:
Professor Marion Hetherington, University of Leeds, UK (Congress Chair)
Dr Jo Cecil, University of St Andrews, UK (Congress Coordinator)
Dr Diane Jackson, University of Aberdeen, UK

Industry partners:
Dr Hugo Weenen, Danone Research, Centre for Specialised Nutrition, Wageningen, the Netherlands
Dr Carel Vereijken, Danone Research, Centre for Specialised Nutrition, Wageningen, the Netherlands. 
Dr Janet Warren, Danone Research, Centre for Specialised Nutrition, Wageningen, the Netherlands

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