Leveraging Food Technology to Address Obesity

August 17, 2011

The summary of this workshop by Pray and Pillsbury (accessible at http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Leveraging-Food-Technology-for-Obesity-Prevention-and-Reduction-Effort.aspx) is a concise description of the complexity of obesity and many substantial and time-consuming efforts that food manufacturers continue to make to develop and implement interventions. The workshop was convened by the IOM’s Food Forum in Washington, DC in early November, 2010. Many among the Food Forum members, planning committee, workshop attendees, and report reviewers are IFT members. The report addresses trends in weight management and obesity, the complexity of eating behaviors, lessons learned and best practices, major challenges, and potential for innovation and next steps. Challenges discussed included: energy density, taste, satiety, consumer perception of labels, ingredient and formulation costs, pricing, regulatory issues, and consumer trust. Numerous improvements to existing technologies and new technologies that have been applied to alter the food supply in ways that help reduce the obesity burden were recognized.