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Food News

Fighting Childhood Obesity, One Cloudberry at a Time

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Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 8:11 AM

click to enlarge Claus Meyer on the set of "New Scandinavian Cooking" - CREATIVE NATION/FLICKR
  • Creative Nation/Flickr
  • Claus Meyer on the set of "New Scandinavian Cooking"

The author of over a dozen cookbooks, a cooking show host, and a part-time professor at the University of Copenhagen, Noma co-owner Claus Meyer has started a passel of successful food-related businesses over the past 20 years, including a vinegar factory, an orchard, a bakery, a coffee roaster, and a chocolate supply company. Along with Noma partner Rene Redzepi, he's the New Nordic movement's affable ambassador, and once the whole world is supping on juice turnips, horseradish, cloudberries, and muscox, we imagine he'll tackle motorcross or politics with the same pluck and wit. For now though, Claus Meyer is trying to save a few lives.

He has joined forces with Arne Astrup, chairman of the International Association for the Study of Obesity--one of the world's most notable obesity scientists--to explore the ways in which the New Nordic Diet might not only tantalize food critics, but also help combat childhood obesity, which as we all know tends to lead to serious health problems later in life. Astrup conducted a dietary intervention study of 1500 people in eight European countries.

Soon to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine this Fall, the results, according to Astrup, demonstrate that "major weight loss can be effectively maintained if one sticks to a diet with slightly more protein at the expense of carbs, while keeping... carb intake focused on whole grain and high fiber foods." A father of three, Meyer is trying to funnel these findings into a cross-scientific study addressing children's health at the intersection of gastronomy, nutrition, sociology, and economics--a praise-worthy undertaking for a man who could easily just bask in the warmth emanating from his oven-hot restaurant.

The duo will be speaking at Stanford University on Tuesday, October 26th, as part of The Future of Health Innovation conference organized by Innovation Center Denmark and SDForum, from 4-5 p.m. in Tresidder Hall's Oak Lounge. No word as to whether or not refreshments will be served and, if so, no indication that grouse confit or "vintage" carrots might replace the usual battery of stale pastries.

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