Public Health Concern
Poor diets and lack of physical activity are among the leading causes of avoidable illness and premature death in Europe.
These developments are a major concern for European public health. Adults and children who are obese or overweight are more likely to suffer from poor health, with an increased risk of developing heart disease and other chronic illnesses. This can result in a reduced quality of life and may even lead to premature death.
Evidence-based Nutritional Advice
FLAVIOLA aimed to address these growing trends by developing evidence-based dietary recommendations and innovative new products that are nutritionally responsible and optimise nutrient delivery.
“We know that if we enrich human diets with flavanol-containing foods over a period of time we can observe improved vascular function, decreased blood pressure, attenuated platelet clotting, and improved immune responses,” commented Dr. M. Merx, Associate Professor of Medicine and Cardiology, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf and FLAVIOLA Coordinator.
“Given the impact our daily diet can have on our health, it is vitally important that we further understanding of the function and potential benefits of flavanols. In so doing, we will lay the groundwork for the development of optimised flavanol-rich diets and dietary recommendations aimed at driving the prevention and mitigation of cardiovascular diseases,” said Dr. M. Berninger, Staff Officer at Mars, Incorporated and FLAVIOLA Industry Partner.
FLAVIOLA’s approach was a truly European one – the project’s research partners brought together a wealth of experience and knowledge from across Europe. The cross-disciplinary project combined the expertise of doctors, food scientists, nutritionists, biochemists, molecular biologists, cardiovascular physicians and epidemiologists.
FLAVIOLA was therefore ideally placed to take into account the geographic differences in terms of diets and consumer preferences across Europe, as well as the wide-ranging attitudes towards health and lifestyle.
FLAVIOLA’s pan-European approach has been recognised by the European Commission, which has awarded the project funding within the Seventh Framework Programme.