Tamara de Weijer: “Nutrition is the most powerful medicine we have”
The development of tasty, nutritious and convenient foods offers us a great healthier-nutrition opportunity, says general practitioner Tamara de Weijer, board member of the Dutch society Arts en Leefstijl (Doctors and Lifestyle). “The food industry can really be the difference.” De Weijer will share her vision and ideas in an online lecture at the forthcoming
The development of tasty, nutritious and convenient foods offers us a great healthier-nutrition opportunity, says general practitioner Tamara de Weijer, board member of the Dutch society Arts en Leefstijl (Doctors and Lifestyle). “The food industry can really be the difference.” De Weijer will share her vision and ideas in an online lecture at the forthcoming Foodvalley Summit Nutrition and Health, October 13, 2020.
“From diabetes and cardiovascular diseases to gastrointestinal health and cancer: nutrition is an important factor in both the prevention and treatment of most conditions we encounter in the treatment room,” says De Weijer. “Diabetes patients, for example, can taper off their medication just two days after improving their diet and increasing physical exercise.”
Beneficial lifestyle changes
Similarly, people with gastrointestinal problems can benefit from lifestyle changes within a week, whereas high blood cholesterol and blood pressure symptoms can often be tackled within three to four weeks. “This is what I have seen, day in and day out, in my past ten years as a doctor.”
She adds that the twelve most common types of cancer – including intestinal tumors – are connected with overweight and obesity. “According to a forecast by the CBS (Dutch Central Statistical Office), in 2040 over 60% of people will be overweight, with extreme consequences in terms of population health and the cost of care.” Moreover, lifestyle plays a role in 80-90% of all cases of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
In 2016, De Weijer founded the Dutch society Doctors and Lifestyle, in order to highlight the importance of nutrition and lifestyle medicine for public health and welfare. “Establishing a healthy lifestyle is something we have to do together. We need an approach and understanding co-created – and mutually supported – by consumers, physicians, government and the food industry,” she says. De Weijer is collaborating with municipalities, retailers and schools in order to increase health awareness among consumers. She publishes lifestyle books and recently presented her own Dokter Tamara lifestyle program.
According to De Weijer, the food industry holds the future in its hands. “Food manufacturers can make the difference, by creating healthy food environments and developing a greater variety of tasty, nutritious and convenient food products. As individual consumers we cannot make healthy choices alone, simply because our prehistoric brain is focused on eating all we can. Feed, not fill, that’s a fundamental of healthy nutrition.”
Tamara de Weijer will give a lecture at the Foodvalley Summit Nutrition and Health, 13 October 2020, 14:50-15:20h CET. Her presentation will be followed by a session in which the audience can directly communicate with De Weijer.