Country – Greece
The Hellenic Dietetics Association (HDA) was founded in 1969 in Athens, Greece, and constitutes the official professional representation body of the university dietitians in Greece. Its scope is public health promotion through informing scientists and the public on the latest news regarding nutrition and health. HDA follows the developments in the field of dietetics and is active in disseminating recent updates. Its major regular scientific activities include the publication of a scientific journal, the organisation of a National Congress and the organisation of the “Nutrition Week”.
The Hellenic Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics was launched in September 2010, and publishes two issues per year. Aim of the journal is to provide scientific information on issues regarding nutrition and health for dietitians, physicians, epidemiologists and many other scientists studying the fields of food, nutrition and dietetics. The Hellenic Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics www.hjnutrdiet.com
is already indexed and abstracted into CINAHL, Index Copernicus Journals Master List, ScopeMed, Iatrotek-On Line and the Google scholar. Language is both Greek and English, so as to allow article submission from non-Greek speaking scientists, as well. For more information, please visit
Every two years HDA organizes a National Congress. The next one, the 11th Hellenic Congress on Nutrition and Dietetics, is scheduled for November 24-27th 2011, and will be held in Athensin the cultural centre ‘’Hellenic Cosmos’’, one of the largest and most sophisticated convention and exhibition centers in Greece. The preliminary programme has been released and abstract submission has opened. National experts and several ESPEN officers and scientists, as well as representatives from Dietetic Associations worldwide will attend. More information is available on the HDA site. It is noteworthy that among other seminars 3 Life Long Learning courses by ESPEN (Nutrition in Cancer, Nutritional Assessment, and Approach to Enteral Nutrition) have also been scheduled.
“Nutrition Week” is a nutrition campaign targeting the general public, and is also organised every 2 years. Each time a specific topic of general interest is selected and a number of activities are scheduled. Activities are carried out in many geographical areas of Greece, to reach as many of the target population as possible. The most recent “Nutrition Week” was accomplished in 2010 and it was devoted to maternal and infant nutrition. The aim was to promote optimum nutrition during pregnancy, breastfeeding and the early years of life. To this direction three different leaflets were developed: nutrition during pregnancy, nutrition during breastfeeding, and nutrition for toddlers, and were available to the public. Other activities organised in the context of the 2010 “Nutrition Week’’ included lectures/seminars to the public and a conference for health specialists and scientists.
Although Greece is the one of the regions with long history of the popular Mediterranean diet, nowadays Greeks seem to have shifted away from this traditional dietary pattern, recognised worldwide as promoting health and longevity. Unfortunately, changes in lifestyle, including adoption of a more Westernized diet and inactivity, have led to an increase in overweight and obesity, and the risk for degenerative diseases, as observed in the Mediterranean region. In these new environmental conditions, dietitians in Greece have to be actively involved in the prevention and treatment of diet-related diseases, and HDA has the mission to both support dietitians in their profession and reach out to the public through media and other activities to increase awareness on nutrition related issues.
Amalia Tsagari, PhD and Eirini Bathrelou, PhD