The “One Road One Belt” initiative and important opportunities for international collaboration in the nutrition and health fields

The “One Road One Belt” initiative and important opportunities for international collaboration in the nutrition and health fields

(Please contact, Prof Youfa Wang, youfawang@gmail.com, or Prof Duo Li, duoli@zju.edu.cn)

 Objectives:

The session will include five presentations and a panel discussion of leading experts in the field, to cover several related topics (see below), and help achieve the following objectives:

  • Introduce and discuss about the “One Road One Belt” initiative and important opportunities for international collaboration in nutrition and public health field
  • Describe the lessons learned in the international nutrition field and recommendations for future work
  • Discuss the major nutrition problems faced by the countries along the “One Road One Belt” countries.

 Background:

The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, also known as the “One Belt, One Road” or the “Belt and Road” Initiative is an ambitious development strategy and framework, proposed by China that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries primarily between China and other countries worldwide, which include 66 countries at present.

As the second largest economy in the world, with her population accounting for about 1/5 of the global population, and with China’s important and growing international influence, the strategy underlines China’s push to take a bigger role in global affairs, including its support and promotion of global collaboration in areas such as trade, research, and public health issues.

While the coverage area of the initiative initially is primarily Asia and Europe, Oceania, East Africa and America are also being included. The anticipated cumulative investment over an indefinite timescale is variously put at US$4 trillion or US$8 trillion. It is estimated that China’s investment will be far more than the well-known US Marshall Plan (e.g., it is stated, “The One Belt One Road Project, in terms of its size, could be multiple times larger and more ambitious than the Marshall Plan or the European enlargement, see below link/article”). China is making major investments, including support for collaboration in joint research and training programs related to health and international aids.

In China, over the past year, a series of efforts and initiatives are made to promote global health related research and collaboration including such as that many universities have developed new global health programs, the China CDC established a new Global Health Center in summer 2016, and a new Global Heath Section under the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association was established in fall 2016.

The University Alliance of the Silk Road (UASR) is a university alliance centered at Xi’an Jiaotong University aims to support the One Belt, One Road initiative with research and engineering, and to foster understanding and academic exchange. At present, the network includes about 140 universities from about 38 countries and regions worldwide. The UASR aims to support training, research, policy, cross-cultural understanding, and medical service. In September 2016, Xi’an Jiaotong University established an ambitious interdisciplinary cross- campus Global Health Institute, to help foster future research and collaboration regarding health-related topics in China and abroad.  The Chair of the proposed session, Prof Youfa Wang is the Founding Dean of the Global Health Institute.

It is projected that the One Belt, One Road” initiative will provide many great future opportunities for related international collaborations including on health related issues, while nutrition will be an important part of it.

Chair of the session:

Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, MS, FTOS
Chair, The Obesity Society (TOS) Pediatric Obesity Section (POS), North America
Dean, Global Health Institute, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China
John & Janice Fisher Endowed Chair of Wellness
Associate Director, Fisher Institute of Health and Well-being
Director, Systems-Oriented Global Childhood Obesity Intervention Program
Professor, Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences
College of Health, Ball State University, USA
youfawang@gmail.com

Co-Chair of the session:

Dr Duo Li, PhD, MSc, BMed
President, Asia Pacific Clinical Nutrition Society
Professor, Department of Food Science and Nutrition
Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
duoli@zju.edu.cn

Proposed tentative topics and speakers:

(Note that more information of each speaker was listed below. Each talk will be 30 min, in total two hours in the session)

  1. The “One Road One Belt” initiative and opportunities for international collaboration in nutrition and public health field By Youfa Wang
  2. Key nutrition related problems and challenges faced by the counties along the “One Road One Belt” By Limin Wang
  3. Shifts in people food consumption patterns and benefits of plant-based diet By Duo Li
  4. The implications of research findings regarding glycemic index for future nutrition policy, interventions and research for counties along the “One Road One Belt” By Jennie Brand-Miller
  5. Lessons learned in the international nutrition field and recommendations for future work By Philip T. James
  6. Panel discussion

The above speakers plus additional leading experts in the field

 Information of the tentative speakers

Jennie Brand-Miller FAIFST, FNSA
Chair in human nutrition
School of Molecular Biosciences
University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Philip T. James, CBE, FRSE, MD, DSc
Former President, World Obesity Federation
Hon. Professor of Nutrition
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
London, The UK

Duo Li, PhD, MSc, BMed
President, Asia Pacific Clinical Nutrition Society
Professor, Department of Food Science and Nutrition
Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
duoli@zju.edu.cn

Limin Wang, MD, PhD
Director, Division of Surveillance
National Center for Chronic Non Communicable Diseases Control and  Prevention
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC)
Beijing, China
Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, MS, FTOS
Chair, The Obesity Society (TOS) Pediatric Obesity Section (POS), North America
Dean, Global Health Institute, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China
John & Janice Fisher Endowed Chair of Wellness
Associate Director, Fisher Institute of Health and Well-being
Director, Systems-Oriented Global Childhood Obesity Intervention Program
Professor, Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences
College of Health, Ball State University, Indiana, USA

Selected references:

1.One Belt, One Road, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Belt,_One_Road

2. China’s Marshall Plan, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-07/china-s-marshall-plan?bcomANews=true

3. University Alliance of the Silk Road, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_Alliance_of_the_Silk_Road