Intended for healthcare professionals

Food for thought

What should we eat in order to stay healthy and avoid disease? Nutrition is one of the biggest drivers of chronic diseases, including obesity and diabetes, yet the answer to this seemingly simple question remains a subject of heated debate.

This collection brings together some of the world’s most thoughtful and influential voices in the field of nutrition and health, representing a range of backgrounds and perspectives, to help make sense of the state of current knowledge, the quality of the evidence on key issues, the extent and implications of potential disagreements between experts, and the agenda for further research.

Series articles

Food for thought
Navjoyt Ladher, Paul Simpson, Fiona Godlee

History of modern nutrition science—implications for current research, dietary guidelines, and food policy
Dariush Mozaffarian, Ricardo Uauy

Dietary fat and cardiometabolic health: evidence, controversies, and consensus for guidance
Nita G Forouhi, Ronald M Krauss, Gary Taubes, Walter Willett

Dietary carbohydrates: role of quality and quantity in chronic disease
David S Ludwig, Frank B Hu, Luc Tappy, Jennie Brand-Miller

Food based dietary patterns and chronic disease prevention
Matthias B Schulze, Miguel A Martínez-González, Teresa T Fung, Alice H Lichtenstein, Nita G Forouhi

Dietary and nutritional approaches for prevention and management of type 2 diabetes
Nita G Forouhi, Anoop Misra, Viswanathan Mohan, Roy Taylor, William Yancy

Role of the gut microbiota in nutrition and health
Ana M Valdes, Jens Water, Eran Segal, Tim D Spector

Personalised nutrition and health
Jose M Ordovas, Lynnette R Ferguson, E Shyong Tai, John C Mathers

Hunger and malnutrition in the 21st century
Patrick Webb, Gunhild Anker Stordalen, Sudvir Singh, Ramani Wijesinha-Bettoni, Prakash Shetty, Anna Lartey

Nutrition disparities and the global burden of malnutrition
Rafael Perez-Escamilla, Odilia Bermudez, Gabriela Santos Buccini, Shiriki Kumanyika, Chessa K Lutter, Pablo Monsivais, Cesar Victora

Why would a leading global reinsurer be interested in nutrition?
John Schoonbee, Emile Elefteriadis

The role of government policy in nutrition – barriers and opportunities for healthier eating
Dariush Mozaffarian, Juan Rivera, Sonia Angell, Tim Lang

Obesity and weight management
Mike Lean, Susan Roberts, Arne Astrup

The BMJ thanks our series advisers, Dariush Mozaffarian and Nita Forouhi, for valuable advice and guiding selection of topics in the series. These articles are part of a series commissioned by The BMJ. Open access fees for the series were funded by The Swiss Re Institute, which had no input in to the commissioning or peer review of the articles.

The series was launched at a meeting co-hosted by The BMJ and the Swiss Re Institute in Zurich in June 2018, bringing together nutritional researchers, clinicians, and policy makers to discuss the topics covered in the series.

View the Food for Thought 2020 collection:

Further reading

From The BMJ
Dietary guidelines and health—is nutrition science up to the task?
Dariush Mozaffarian, Jean Mayer, Nita G Forouhi

Medical schools should be prioritising nutrition and lifestyle education
Kate Womersley, Katherine Ripullone

From Swiss Re Institute
'Food for Thought' conference - agenda and live stream