Undernutrition in the Anthropocene: facing climate change and social inequities

Anthropocene is the proposed name for a new geological epoch demarcated as the time when human activities began to have a substantial global effect on the Earth’s systems. Yet to be formally recognized as a new geological epoch, the concept of “Anthropocene” is increasingly recognized as the most suited framework to address the challenges of protecting and promoting human health and nutrition. It makes the case for widening the responsibility for health across disciplines and sectors beyond the traditional confines of the health sector, integrating the material, biological, social, and cultural aspects of public health. In his keynote speech, Professor Alan Jackson explores these links by analyzing the social challenge dimension of human nutrition.

Professor Alan Jackson

Professor Jackson has been Professor of Human Nutrition, University of Southampton since 1985 where with Professor David Barker he established the Institute of Human Nutrition in 1994. He has a major interest in the biological and social factors that enable optimal growth and development during childhood and the implications of poor growth for lifelong health.

He is an Honorary Consultant Physician having established and developed the nutrition support team and its support services within the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. He trained in pediatrics in Cambridge and London and as Director of the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit, University of the West Indies, Jamaica, helped develop the evidence base for the WHO guidance on effective treatment of severe malnutrition. He has been a Senior Advisor on nutrition to the UK Government for many years and has also advised the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and the European Union.

He was recently Director for Nutrition Research with the National Institutes for Health Research in England and Chair of their Cancer and Nutrition infrastructure collaboration. He was Chairman for the Continuous Update Panel of the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research, is convenor for the International Malnutrition Task Force of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences, and Emeritus President of the Association for Nutrition.