The American Society for Nutrition (ASN) and the Danone Institute International have announced a global collaboration to evaluate the state of the science surrounding the relationship between yogurt consumption and health, to be initiated with the first Global Summit on the Health Effects of Yogurt. The summit will be hosted during the ASN's Scientific Sessions & Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology (EB) on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 in Boston, MA.

ASN and the Danone Institute International are partnering with The Nutrition Society (NS) in the United Kingdom on a multi-year initiative, the Yogurt in Nutrition Initiative for a balanced diet, to examine and document the health effects of yogurt, stimulate new research and communicate available scientific information to health care professionals and the public. Annual scientific conferences will be held in different regions of the world to share research findings and encourage new research on the topic.

The first global summit in Boston will focus on the impact of yogurt and dairy consumption on health outcomes and health care costs, particularly related to chronic health conditions. The event will feature leading international experts in medicine and nutrition science.

"Nutrition research continues to shed light on how individual foods and food groups affect health," says Sharon M. Donovan, PhD, RD, Past President of the ASN and professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois. "This new collaboration will help to define the evidence base for yogurt's effects on health promotion and disease prevention and identify areas where more research is needed. This science-based approach aligns well with ASN's mission of advancing nutrition research and knowledge to improve public health and clinical practice worldwide."

The impact of regular yogurt consumption on nutrient deficiencies, body weight regulation, chronic health conditions and related health-care costs.
The unique nutrient profile of yogurt compared to other dairy foods.
Populations that may benefit most from yogurt consumption to improve nutritional status and health.
The scientific rationale behind existing dairy dietary recommendations.

"We are very enthusiastic to participate in this global collaboration that will contribute to increasing the scientific knowledge around yogurt as part of a healthy diet," says Prof. Raanan Shamir, MD, president of the Danone Institute International.

The US-based Dairy Research Institute, established under the leadership of US dairy farmers, is also a partner in the first global summit.