Science Insight | May 2021

Science Insight | May 2021

Bringing you the latest science, events, publications and news from ILSI SEA Region

A New Way to Enjoy Science InSight

Greetings from ILSI Southeast Asia Region! We are excited to share our first issue of Science Insight in this new format, making it even easier for you to access our newsletter anytime, anywhere. We hope you enjoy exploring the latest science and updates from our recent events and publications, and meeting the dedicated staff, members, scientists and partners who make it all happen!


April 28, 2021

ILSI SEA Region Annual Meeting

This year, ILSI SEA Region’s Annual Meeting was conducted in a hybrid format – with a physical meeting for a small group of stakeholders based in Singapore, and many other stakeholders joining in virtually from different parts of the world including Southeast Asia, Australasia, Europe and America. Members, Directors and Science Advisors were thus able to collectively participate in the sharing of our achievements over the past year, and discuss priorities and programs for the year ahead.

A new Board of Directors and Executive Committee were duly appointed, while a Strategic Plan Working Group (SPWG) was established. With the on-going global pandemic, the world continues to face serious challenges to health, nutrition, food safety and security. Our Board and the SPWG will work together to chart new directions for ILSI SEA Region, and strengthen our contributions and impact towards improving public health in the region. We will also continue to partner with multiple stakeholders and the scientific community to address these critical challenges, through our pillars of science, neutrality and collaboration.

With the successful completion of our 2021 Annual Meeting, ILSI SEA Region would like to thank all our stakeholders for your continued support. There is still much to be done, and we look forward to working with you in the months ahead.

March - June, 2021

Webinar Series on Innovative Tools for Nutrition and Food Guidance


This is a series of 3 webinars, organized by ILSI SEA Region Philippine Country Committee, which aims to provide updates on the activities regarding Food-Based Dietary Guidelines (FBDG), Front-of-Pack (FOP) and nutrient profiling projects in the country and other countries in the region. Understanding consumer food choices and behavior, perspective of regulatory agencies and industry, and communication strategies will be discussed as well. Session 3 is now open for registration.

6 April, 2021

Webinar on Update on Malaysia Food Regulations on Food Labeling, Nutrition Labeling and Claims


MOH Malaysia gazetted many further amendments to the Food Regulations 1985 in July 2020, in relation to food labelling, nutrition labelling and nutrition and health claims. To ensure a clear understanding of these amendments given its important impact on all stakeholders, ILSI SEA Region and its Malaysia Country Committee, co-organized with the Nutrition Society of Malaysia this webinar to update and explain the amendments and their interpretation.

February 9, 2021

The Science and Sensory Attributes behind Saccharides

Saccharide webinar_1

The innovation space for carbohydrates has seen rapid growth as consumers seek to limit their carbohydrate intake in response to public health policy initiatives. Scientists and experts presenting at this webinar shared the latest research on carbohydrates and their potential effects on health and diseases, insights on consumer perception of sweetness, and technological and sensory aspects of taste modulation. Research gaps and opportunities in these respective areas, with the key goal of improving public health, were identified.

November 24, 2020

Food Additives: A Closer Look at Flavors

Food Additives Seminar_2

This seminar, organised by ILSI SEA Region Vietnam Country Committee with the support of Vietnam Food Administration, focused on flavors as a food additive. Information shared at the meeting included the basics of flavoring substances, safety assessment, maintenance of specification and regulation of flavorings in the region.  The basic risk analysis paradigm was shared by risk managers, assessors and communicators, providing a clearer picture of the challenges of safety assessment and the differences between safety assessments in artificial and natural flavorings.

November 19, 2020

Physical Activity Status, Assessment and Promotion

Physical Activity Philippines

In an increasingly urbanized society, the importance of physical activity for improving health has been recognized. Despite mounting global and national efforts, physical inactivity remains highly persistent in the region, contributing to health, social and economic consequences. This webinar, organized by ILSI SEA Region Philippine Country Committee, takes a closer look at how to bridge information gaps on physical activity in the Philippines. More data is needed on areas including the physical activity level of Filipinos, methodologies used in physical activity assessment, and interventions implemented to promote physical activity.

November 4, 2020

Safety, Benefit and Uses of Low/No Calorie Sweeteners


Rising rates of overweight and obesity have led to increased interest in the potential health benefits of low/no-calorie sweeteners (LNCSs). However, concerns about safety often deter their use in controlling caloric intake, even though the safety of LNCS has been affirmed by regulatory agencies worldwide. ILSI SEA Region and its Indonesia Country Committee collaborated with Indonesia National Agency of Drug and Food Control to organize this webinar. Information on the different uses of LNCS in foods, updates on current approaches in managing the safety and use of LNCS, and the safety evaluation process, were shared.

October 15 and October 23, 2020

Nutrients for Optimal Health & Science Communication


Widening gaps in nutrition well-being across populations, and the proliferation of misinformation on food and health have brought to focus the need for effective public policy that is informed by evidence-based science. This 2-part webinar series, organized by ILSI SEA Region in collaboration with the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research, brought together eminent researchers, thought-leaders in nutrition science, and experienced science communication experts to share their insights, discuss appropriate dietary guidance, and recommend strategies for translating science into effective public health policies and consumer guidance.

June – October, 2020

The 3 S’s Subjects of Interest: Salt, Sugar and Sleep

3S Seminar- Master slides Session 4rev2

ILSI SEA Region Philippine Country Committee organized a 4-part webinar series to address public health issues on the consumption of salt and sugars, as well as the quantity and quality of sleep, that are of current and significant concern in the Philippines. Experts provided updates on the consumption and assessment of salt and sugar intake among Filipinos, and identified approaches for reducing sodium and sugar in food products. The webinars also shared strategies to achieve adequate sleep to address the potential negative impact of inadequate sleep on health and wellness.


February 2021

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition


ILSI SEA Region Symposium: Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Actions to Address Gestational Diabetes in Selected Southeast Asian Countries

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is increasing, particularly in Southeast Asia. This paper presents findings from a symposium organized by ILSI SEA Region which discussed the growing issue of gestational diabetes and how it can be addressed in the region.

February 2021

Public Health Nutrition


Global Evaluation of the Use of Glycaemic Impact Measurements to Food or Nutrient Intake

Measures of glycaemic impact are used by government health and regulatory agencies and public health associations around the world. The objective of this global review was to identify similarities and differences in the use of glycaemic impact measures for potential considerations for harmonization.

February 2021

Global Food Security


Food System Resilience and COVID-19: Lessons from the Asian Experience

Food systems in Asia have proved to be relatively resilient when compared with other regions despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper considers the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the food system, particularly in Asia and discusses the outlook for food system resilience in a post-COVID-19 environment and likely long-term effects of the pandemic.


Newsletter photo collage rev

Ever wondered who are the dedicated staff working behind the scenes to bring you ILSI SEA Region’s programs, events (whether virtual or in-person) and publications?

In this first issue of our e-newsletter, we introduce our Program Managers based in Singapore, Malaysia and the Phillipines! Hear what they have to say about the past 12 months of dramatic changes to the way we live and work, and how we rose to the many challenges…


May 18, 2021 | 9.30am - 12:25pm (GMT +8)

ASEAN Webinar on ISO 17025: 2017 Laboratory Management System


This is a closed-door webinar which aims to address the two key areas of interest with regards to the ISO 17025:2017 Laboratory Management System requirements identified during the survey among the ASEAN National Food Testing Laboratories.

June 15, 2021 | 1.30pm - 3:30pm (GMT +8)

Webinar Series on Innovative Tools for Nutrition and Food Guidance Session 3


Organized by ILSI SEA Region Philippine Country Committee, Session 3 of the webinar series will focus on nutrient profiling for healthier food choices, industry perspectives and communication strategies.

June 24, 2021 | 9.00am - 11:30am (GMT +8)

Webinar on Scientific Integrity: Science Integrity Matters in Food and Nutrition Research in the South East Asia Region

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This webinar aims to gather information from across the Southeast Asia Region on the scientific integrity issues faced by scientists working with governments and the food industry. More information will be available soon.

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