One of the most interesting presentations at last week's Global Business Summit on Retail, Food and Drink was from Luis Cantarell, president and CEO of Nestlé Health Science.
He was talking about 'Expanding the boundaries of nutrition', 'transforming the relationship between food and health' and developing 'science-based, personalised nutrition'.
By 2020, he said, one in five people worldwide will be over 65 years old, 50 million will have Alzheimer's, three out of five will die from chronic disease and healthcare will cost more than $5tn.
"Our healthcare systems are as sick as the people they're trying to serve," he observed.
His mission is for nutrition to be part of the solution, involving a more intelligent interaction between our diet, our lifestyle and our genes. He sees the strategy as personalised nutrition for medical conditions; 'the pharma nutrition gap is narrowing'.
He highlighted particular problems with malnutrition in hospitals and care homes. Immunonutrition, a new word to me, has already been shown in the UK to save up to £2,000 per patient, reducing hospital stays by an average 2.4 days and lowering the risk of complications by 31%.
This isn't just interesting. It's compelling.
Richard Hall is chairman of Zenith International
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