Conbran (Congresso Brasileiro de Nutrição), the largest nutrition congress in Latin America, was conducted in late October 2016 by Asbran (Associação Brasileira de Nutrição), the Brazilian Nutrition Association, and was attended by more than 3,500 people. For the first time this year, the event was promoted in accordance with the new partnership criteria, which excludes exhibitors and supporters that generate conflicts of interest with healthy and proper eating.
Just over a year ago, Asbran published norms prohibiting partnerships with industries, companies, and institutions that market, promote, advertise, or encourage drinks of low nutritional content, alcoholic beverages, foods that are transgenic or contain high amounts of sugar, saturated fat, trans fat, or sodium, or products for weight loss or "esthetic nutrition" for which there is no supporting scientific evidence. The ban also affects companies that commercialize ultra-processed foods, fast-food chains, and policies and practices that conflict with health.
“Organizing the Brazilian Congress of Nutrition in this new model required great determination in order to break with sponsorships that generate conflicts of interest in the field of nutrition," stated the president of Asbran, Dr. Daniela Fagioli Masson. The president also said that Asbran’s stance shows its alignment with the growing mobilization in Brazil to protect public health policies from the interference of commercial interests.
With the mobilizing theme "Knowledge and Strategies in Food and Nutrition: Multiplying Experiences and Defining Sustainable Paths," Conbran 2016 sought to redefine directions for nutrition in Brazil, establishing new goals and strategies aligned with the concepts of healthiness and sustainability. It also gathered dozens of professionals from the Ibero-American community.
The congress took place in an atmosphere critical of the increase of fatness and obesity in the Brazilian population, a fact that impelled the adoption of the agenda proposed by the Sustainable Development Goals and the implementation of the Decade of Action on Nutrition guidelines (led by WHO and FAO) and Dietary Guidelines for the Brazilian Population, which give visibility to sustainable food systems, thereby expanding the role of Nutrition in this theme.
Over these three days, the participants discussed issues that confronted science and practice in the areas of Clinical Nutrition, Sports Nutrition, Collective Feeding, Food Technology, Collective Health, and Professionalization, defending actions to guarantee healthy eating environments, including regulatory and fiscal measures as well as professional practices in tune with this critical scenario.
A document was issued at the end of the event expressing their collective wishes and recommendations to public authorities, especially regarding the strengthening of policies and programs in support of health and of Food and Nutrition Safety (Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional – SAN), prioritizing the segment of family farming in agroecological actions and public policies on food and nutrition.
The text also recommends action in defense of fair and sustainable food systems to assure food sovereignty, fighting harmful practices such as the use of pesticides and genetically modified seeds and integrating nutritionists on all policies related to the guarantee of social rights, such as the right to food, and the policies to protect children and adolescents, women, men, and the elderly
The document also reaffirms the commitment of the professionals gathered at CONBRAN 2016 to guarantee the Human Right to Adequate Food as well as Food and Nutrition Safety, reaffirming that eating is a political act, which requires that the Nutritionist perform beyond the technical aspects.
Coordenadora Executiva, ASBRAN