• Feature Article
    15th International Congress of Dietetics - Report
    Vol. 16 Issue 2
    Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your cooperation with and participation in the 15th International Congress of Dietetics (ICD 2008 Yokohama).

    Teiji Nakamura, PhD, RD
    Chairperson, Organizing Committee
    15th International Congress of Dietetics

    Some 20 years after we first dreamed of bringing it to Japan, and 8 years after we got down to the business of preparing to do so, the 15th International Congress of Dietetics was held with great success from September 8 to 11, 2008, at Pacifico Yokohama. The event turned out to be an international conference on a scale seldom seen in recent years, with a total of 8,028 participants, 4,621 of whom were registered, representing 59 countries. 

    Everyone responsible for the event has been delighted to hear from participants from many countries that the Congress was rich in rewarding content, excitement, and hospitality, and that it was the best international conference in memory. The goal of the Congress was to harness the perspective of nutrition to blend contradictory concepts such as principle and practice, prevention and treatment, undernutrition and overnutrition, rich and poor, East and West, and generational and regional differences. After the conclusion of the Congress, I realized that some participants had taken to referring to it as the “3E” Congress, in reference to Eating, Ethics, and Evidence.

    At the close of the 20th century, we dreamed of a 21st century in which the people of the world could live in health, happiness, and peace. However, with eight years of the new century behind us, it is apparent that things have not gone as we would have wished. For example, each year we see more people suffering from undernutrition due to insufficient food, illness, and old age, and from obesity and lifestyle related disease caused by overeating. This session of the Congress provided an opportunity for specialists in nutrition and food to reconsider from a global perspective how humankind can live in health and happiness. Having made our mission the resolution of humankind’s most basic challenge—the question of how people can best obtain the nutrients that are essential to life—we now see our role gaining in importance as environmental and social changes sweep the world. I hope you will not forget the serious discussions held over the course of a week in Yokohama as dietitians and nutritionists gathered from around the world during this important time in human history. 

    Older dietitians praised the Congress and described their joy at having lived long enough to participate, while professionals active on the front lines of our field spoke of a dream coming true and being inspired to pursue more ambitious goals. Young dietitians expressed satisfaction at having entered the discipline and noted the new self-confidence they felt after participating. Allow me to extend once more my heartfelt gratitude to the officers of the International Confederation of Dietetic Associations and to everyone who participated in the 15th Congress. Thank you all.

    View photos from ICD 2008: