Education and innovation crucial for promoting healthy ageing – Expert Growth Asia Series panel

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APAC is home to 650 million people over 60, and this number is expected to reach 1.3 billion by 2050. With this comes increasing demand for products with immunity, bone, joint, muscle, cognitive, heart, skin, eye and digestive functions.

The panel discussion was part of our Growth Asia 2020 edition on Healthy Ageing. (Listen on demand here​)

The five-person panel consisted of Thomas Teh, nutrition scientist at Tate & Lyle, Professor Peter Howe, head of clinical nutrition research centre at the University of Newcastle (Australia), Dr Joerg Schnackenberg, head of technical marketing at AstaReal Ltd Japan, Laima Liepinyte, business development manager for Arla Foods Ingredients Asia, and Dr Itay Shafat who is product manager for cognitive and sports nutrition at IFF Health.

It was hosted by Gary Scattergood, editor-in-chief of FoodNavigator-Asia ​and NutraIngredients-Asia.

Education is key

The panellists all agreed that one of the challenges when it comes to promoting healthy ageing in APAC was the lack of awareness among consumers.

Teh explained that the signs of ageing start as soon as early adulthood. Within ageing, cognitive health is one key area.

Shafat added: “Cognitive decline doesn’t start when we turn old, it starts in our 30s, and when people reach their 60s, they start to accumulate cellular damage and it’s hard to reverse, so what we need to do is postpone as much as we can. The key obstacle is how do you convince people to start early.

That’s a big challenge because a consumer not suffering from anything doesn’t tend to take anything, they want to solve problems, not to prevent future problems. How do you convince brands and consumers to start early to reduce the burden on the economy and society​?”

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