Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2013, 4, 1-1 Published Online October 2013 (
Food and Nutrition Sciences
—Open Special Issues: Public Health Nutrition Initiatives
Anthony Fardet
National Institute for Agricultural Research, Clermont-Ferrand/Theix Research Center, Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France.
Received April 26th, 2013; revised May 26th, 2013; accepted June 3rd, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Anthony Fardet. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which
permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The prevalence of diet-related chronic diseases is dra-
matically growing each year worldwide oscillating be-
tween over- and malnutrition. Thus, in western countries,
while cardiovascular diseases and cancers are leading
causes of mortality, obesity and type 2 diabetes h ave now
acquired the status of epidemics and are strong risk fac-
tors for the development of subsequent more serious
chronic diseases. The corresponding human and budget
costs for these metabolic diseases are very high. Preven-
tive nutrition is developing within this new context and
more and more researches are now focusing on trying to
unravel the causal factors responsible for the develop-
ment of diet-related chronic diseases. In fine, results of
these studies have to be transposed in nutritional recom-
mendations for large public. This is not an easy task sin ce ,
despite the solutions to prevent chronic diseases are
known, their prevalence continue to increase.
Thus, it seems today more and more difficult to con-
sume balanced diets, probably due to the generally low
level of nutritional education worldwide, the production
of highly refined and energy-dense foods by agro-food
industry and the high cost of natural and nutrient-dense
foods, e.g. fruits and vegetables. Indeed, energy-dense
foods are generally cheaper than foods of high nutritio nal
quality, and it is not surprising that obesity prevalence is
developing the most among the poorest.
Probably public health nutrition initiatives would have
to focus in a near future on nutritional education very
early in infancy. In the same time, nutrition research
would gain in forwarding from a reductionist towards a
more holistic approach, i.e. studying more the health ef-
fect of diets combined with the w ay of living, and avoid-
ing to focus too much on the health effect of isolated
food bioactive compounds in relation with a given phy-
siological effect. Preventive nutrition can not be studied
using a pharmacological approach: foods are not drugs!
In this special issue, we intend to invite front-line re-
searchers and authors to submit original research and
review articles reporting new public health nutrition ini-
tiatives, notably those that have succeeded in reducing
diet-related chronic disease prevalence.
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