OHSU Moore Institute receives funding to break new ground in improving women’s nutrition worldwide

10/09/14  Portland, Ore.

Funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be used to host the International Summit on the Nutrition of Adolescent Girls and Young Women

The Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness at Oregon Health & Science University received a grant for just under $420,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop and host an international summit on global issues affecting women’s nutrition. The International Summit on the Nutrition of Adolescent Girls and Young Women will be held in Portland, May 14-17, 2015.

Maternal and child undernutrition is the underlying cause of some 3.5 million deaths annually and accounts for more than a third of the disease burden in children under age five. The goal of the summit is to build new and enduring bridges between nutrition scientists and nutrition practitioners in developing countries. At present these groups have little communication with one another resulting in gaps between advances in nutrition research and the application of emerging knowledge to shape programs for undernourished populations.

“Hosting this summit will allow the Moore Institute to expand its global reach while working to improve the health of adolescent girls and women in the developing world,” said Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., director of the OHSU Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness and a professor of medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine.

Between 60 and 65 global leaders in nutritional science and nutrition intervention programs will be invited to participate in the summit, which will work to develop a consensus document capturing research, programmatic and policy recommendations that address:

  • How food availability and food choices among girls and young women can be improved.
  • What international policies and practices would benefit the status of women across the globe and improve their access to nutritious food.

The day prior to the summit will be a public symposium hosted on the OHSU campus. Selected world-renowned summit participants and local experts will speak on topics of relevance to Oregonians. The day will focus on the importance of nutrition from conception to age two in reducing risk for chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Information about opportunities for the public to participate in the one day symposium will be made available closer to the date of the summit.

About OHSU Moore Institute

The OHSU Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness is a pioneer in the field of developmental origins of health and disease. The institute's director, Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., is internationally recognized as a leader in this field which studies the vital connection between maternal health, the quality of fetal growth and how chronic diseases are programmed in the womb by poor nutrition or stress. The institute is working to reshape community environments and increase access to healthy foods, particularly for women, girls and infants, through innovative public health programming and by advocating for public policy changes. The OHSU Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness was created after Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods founders Bob and Charlee Moore pledged a generous gift to confront one of the biggest contributors to human suffering and disease: poor nutrition.

About OHSU

Oregon Health & Science University is the state's only public academic health and research university. As one of Oregon's largest employers with more than 14,000 employees, OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support not found anywhere else in the state. OHSU serves patients from every corner of Oregon and is a conduit for learning for more than 4,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to each county in the state.