A message from the President of the Society

The President of the Japan Society of Nutrition and Food Science
Hiroshi Yoshida

The President of the Japan Society of Nutrition and Food Science : Hiroshi Yoshida

In Japan, the COVID-19 infection that began in 2020 has not ended even in 2022, and continues to affect people's lives and social conditions. Under these circumstances, a face to face annual meeting was held in June 2022 for the first time in three years. The theme of the 76th Annual Meeting was "Nutrition and Food Science Research for the Future of PostCOVID-19 Diseases." I am pleased that we were able to have a lively discussion on such a topical theme. I would like to express my gratitude to the Chairman of the meeting, the meeting organizers, the secretariat, and all the members of the JSNFS.

During the past two years, under the leadership of former President Dr. Hisanori Kato, the JSNFS has responded appropriately to the social situation of the COVID-19 disaster, sending out a message to the public on nutrition, food, and health entitled "Nutritional Responses to the COVID-19 Infection: A Request from Japan Society of Nutrition and Food Science (JSNFS)." In December, 2021, the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021 was held and it included discussions that contributed to the promotion of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) to address nutrition challenges. The Tokyo Compact on Global Nutrition for Growth was issued as a result of these discussions. It includes 1) Health: Integrating nutrition into universal health coverage (UHC); 2) Food: Promoting healthy diets and building sustainable food systems; 3) Resilience: Addressing malnutrition effectively in fragile and conflict-affected situations; 4) Accountability: Promoting data-driven accountability; 5) Finance: Mobilizing new investments in nutrition financing.

As a member of the Federation of Japanese Nutrition Societies, the JSNFS’s commitment is to further promote evidence-based research on nutrition improvement for sustainable healthy diets as well as to introduce training programs for global and young human resources to achieve the goal. Additionally, the 22nd IUNS (International Union of Nutritional Sciences)- International Congress of Nutrition (22nd IUNS-ICN) will be held at the Tokyo International Forum in December 2022. I am working as the Fundraising Committee Chairman along with former President Dr. Kato, who is the Organizing Committee Chairman, for the success of ICN Tokyo. I am sure that it will be a wonderful scientific meeting with the great help of all the members of the JSNFS even if the COVID-19 situation continues to be significant.

In 2022, a commemorative event was held. As part of the JSNFS’s 75th anniversary commemorative events, the 75th anniversary lecture meetings and other related events were held during the 76th Annual Meeting. During the events, we received congratulatory messages from Osaka University Emeritus Professor Morito Monden, President of the Japanese Association of Medical Sciences (JAMS), and other related societies and associations. We are also preparing to publish a 75th anniversary commemorative journal. The JAMS, of which the JSNFS is a subcommittee, is celebrating its 120th anniversary, and the history of the JSNFS is reported in the 120th Anniversary Commemorative Journal of the JAMS. The JSNFS was founded in 1947, soon after the end of World War II, with the aim of improving the nutritional status of Japanese people and researching food for that purpose. The 50th anniversary commemorative journal of the JSNFS records in detail how the JSNFS was established as a place to discuss how to cope with the low nutritional status of Japanese people due to the deterioration in the food situation as well as to discuss countermeasures from an interdisciplinary standpoint with a focus on medicine and agriculture while receiving advice from the General Headquarters (GHQ). The strong sense of urgency, at that time, to save the Japanese people from the effects of the shortage of food supplies caused by the defeat in World War II is evident. The president of Keio University School of Medicine, Professor Kenta Omori, who was in charge of the first meeting of the Society of Nutrition and Food Science, used the expression "marriage of medicine and agriculture" and gave an impassioned address in which he said, "We will overcome this serious obstacle with united efforts. I can feel his pride in the mission entrusted to society at that time and his determination to take on the heavy responsibility.

However, since then, the nutritional situation in Japan has undergone a major transformation. After about 1955, with the rapid economic growth period, obesity caused by over-nutrition became a health problem, and names such as "adult-onset diseases" appeared. It is what we now call a lifestyle-related disease. In recent years, the number of Japanese people who have metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia have increased, and countermeasures against these issues have become a national issue, leading to the enactment of the Basic Act on Stroke and Cardiovascular Disease in Japan in December 2018. The "First Five-Year Plan to Conquer Stroke and Cardiovascular Diseases'' was verified and reviewed, and now the Second "Five-Year Plan'' has been formulated. Lifestyle-related diseases are still important health issues for the Japanese people today, and the basic response to these is lifestyle therapy, including diet and nutrition, and the science underlying this is nutrition and food science, in which JSNFS has specialized. Additionally, the extension of a healthy life expectancy plays an important role in people's health and to a healthy society, and measures against frailty, sarcopenia, and locomotive syndrome in the elderly are important in this context. As such, the research themes of the Nutrition and Food Science Fund of the JSNFS are "nutrition and food science research on the prevention and treatment of lifestyle-related diseases and frailty" and "research on the development of food products that contribute to the extension of a healthy life expectancy and the solution of new health issues.

Since its establishment, the JSNFS has carried out its mission as a center for scientific research in nutrition, aiming to improve the health of the Japanese people through the improvement of their diet. In these difficult social conditions surrounding nutrition, I believe that the role of the JSNFS will become even more significant in the future. Upon being appointed as the Representative Trustee and the President of the JSNFS, I am determined to continue our activities in a sustainable and progressive manner so that the activities of the JSNFS will contribute to people's healthy living and healthy longevity. I look forward to your continued cooperation and support.

Messages from Past Presidents