The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) was a sponsor of the World Food Prize International Symposium activities last week as attendees from around the globe examined the dual challenges of malnutrition and obesity.
Soy has a natural connection to the event since Iowa soy can provide better nutrition and health for the malnourished in a world where 840 million people live with chronic hunger as well as those who face the opposite concern of obesity.
ISA is joined with the United Soybean Board, the Soyfoods Council and the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) program to sponsor a reception and meal during the symposium and to provide nutritional information to attendees.
How soy can help improve human health
"It is an honor to participate in the World Food Prize and join global leaders who are harnessing the power of food and nutrition to make a dramatic difference in the lives of millions of people around the world," says ISA President John Askew. He is a soybean grower from Thurman in southwest Iowa. "We appreciate the opportunity to be part of this program as these experts and policymakers from around the world gather in Iowa to tackle a tough topic--the dual challenges of malnutrition and obesity."
This event is a dramatic reminder of how much Iowa soy can help human health.
In the United States, soy demand is on the rise as soy provides a high level of nutrition per calorie. Soy also provides some protection against some diseases, including heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and others. In the United States, soyfood consumption rose 40% from 2001 to 2004, and is projected to reach $5.3 billion in 2006, according to the Mintel Soy-Based Food & Drink Market Report.
A separate 2003-2004 soybean checkoff-funded study projects that soyfoods consumption will triple by 2010. Improved taste, new products and interest in soy's health benefits are key to growth. The study reports that 74% of consumers consider soy products as healthy.
Iowa helped launch the WISHH programLikewise, consumers in developing countries are interested in better nutrition with high-protein soy products. That's why Iowa and other state soybean grower organizations launched the WISHH Program in 2000. The initiative creates sustainable solutions for the protein demands of people in developing countries through the introduction and use of U.S. soy products. WISHH has worked in 23 countries, ranging from Africa to Asia to Latin America, to improve diets as well as encourage growth of food industries.
Through WISHH, Iowa soybean growers are contributing to six of the eight United Nations' Millennium Development Goals: 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; 2. Achieve universal primary education; 3. Promote gender equality and empower women; 4. Reduce child mortality; 5. Improve maternal health; 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
To learn more, visit www.iasoybeans.com.