THE STRAUSS INSTITUTE CONFERENCE: THE PATH TO A SUCCESSFUL DIET RUNS THROUGH DIGITAL
RESEARCH PRESENTED AT THE CONFERENCE PROVES THAT ONLY 30%-50% OF DIETERS WILL SUCCEED IN STICKING TO THEIR WEIGHT LOSS REGIME. THE SOLUTION: DIGITAL TOOLS
At the Strauss Institute Conference, held today (Thursday) on “Nutrition, Diet and Everything between the Two”, a new perspective was presented, encouraging dietitians and professionals to manage weight loss processes and nutritional management through digital. The conference was opened by Prof. Eyal Shimoni, Chief Technology Officer at Strauss Group and the Institute’s representative on the Group’s behalf.
Zion Balas, CEO of Strauss Israel, said: “The food industry worldwide is undergoing changes that are influenced by consumer perceptions. We need to adapt and to integrate research, regulation and industry to achieve results, just as we did for sodium, when all our stakeholders joined forces and reduced sodium content. The same thing was done for sugar. The food industry, including the competition, is part of the solution and not the problem”.
The program is led by Ruthie Letter, a veteran clinical dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, who spoke at the conference, and is based on psychological approaches that are connected to the therapeutic relationship, the transfer of responsibility to the patient, coaching for health, the influence of mHealth (mobile-enabled health care – apps and sensors), eHealth (healthcare practice using the Internet) and wearable technology.
Ms. Letter claims that in spite of the growing awareness of a healthy lifestyle, obesity indices and the prevalence of its associated health problems are rising steadily. The main reason is the difficulty experienced by the individual in making a change and sticking to a program that encourages change in order to accomplish its goal. When it comes to diets, the success rate is dismal: only 30% to 50% of patients will express a response to nutritional therapy, only part of them will succeed in losing weight and of them, only 2% to 5% will succeed in maintaining their weight loss for more than a year after the start of treatment.
The digital tools that are available today to people starting a diet include the smartphone, wearable technology such as a bracelet and watch, social networks, WhatsApp groups and video files. They are recommended for use to control execution, for personalization designed to tailor the diet to the individual, to save time and resources, and as an accurate research tool. Letter believes that the digital era significantly enhances the bond with the patient and helps him or her to accomplish their goals. She recommends that dietitians probe deeper to find ways to empower the patient, to increase his or her motivation and enhance their perseverance in the process in order to achieve their goals in less time, and focus less on providing information, however interesting and relevant.
Background: The Strauss Institute has been active in promoting a healthy lifestyle for the past sixteen years. The Institute’s major goals are to support nutrition and health research by holding scientific conventions for professionals and developing tools that promote a healthy lifestyle. As part of this strategy, each year the Institute awards research grants, holds a scientific conference for nutrition and health professionals, and develops innovative, experiential tools to advance a healthy lifestyle.
The Institute’s activities are accompanied by a scientific council comprising five leading researchers in the fields of health and nutrition, who are actively involved in academic nutrition research: Prof. Raanan Shamir, Chairman of the Institute of Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Liver Diseases at Schneider Children’s Medical Center, who has also been appointed to head the international Danone Institute; Prof. Pierre Singer, Director of the General Intensive Care Department and the Institute of Nutrition Research at Rabin Medical Center; Prof. Oren Tirosh, Director of the Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition in the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Dr. Gal Dubnov-Raz, senior physician at the Exercise, Nutrition and Lifestyle Clinic at the Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital, Sheba Medical Center; and Ms. Brigitte Kochavi, Head of the Pediatric Nutrition Unit at the Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital. Strauss’s representatives are Prof. Eyal Shimoni, the Group CTO, and Ms. Amali Messika, Chief Dietitian at Strauss Group.
The Institute continues to collaborate with Danone Institute International and with the network of Danone Institutes around the world.