Eat Chocolate for breakfast.  Don’t Eat Pasta after 4 pm.  Drink Wine at Bedtime to Help You Lose Weight.  Butter is Back.  

These are just a few of the headlines consumers have seen in newspapers, blogs, magazines, websites and television shows in the last year. No wonder people say they are confused and have no idea how they should eat—and therefore—just give up. Adding to the confusion, public perception is that nutrition advice changes every day, leaving many of us scratching our heads at the ongoing food fight, and saying, “Can’t those experts agree on anything??

Oldways figured there was only one way to answer that question: Gather some of the world’s top nutrition science experts in one room, let them have their say, then ask them to reach consensus—to find common ground—on what we really know about eating well.

So, on November 17 and 18, Oldways will bring together the best of the world’s top nutrition scientists, with a range of differing views (from paleo to vegan), and ask them to listen to one another and come to a meeting of the minds about what is a healthy and sustainable way of eating, and to make clear recommendations so consumers will understand that it’s not chocolate for breakfast and wine at bedtime that will help them lose weight and live a healthy, long life. In other words, we’re Finding Common Ground.

Joining Oldways as scientific co-chairs of the Finding Common Ground conference are Walter Willett, MD and David Katz, MD – two of America’s most respected voices in nutrition. They’ll be joined by a host of experts with a wide range of perspectives, including advocates for vegetarian diets (Dean Ornish, MD and Joan Sabaté, MD), the Mediterranean Diet (Antonia Trichopoulou, MD and Miguel Angel Martinez, MD), the Paleo Diet (Boyd Eaton, MD), Low Glycemic Diets (David Jenkins, MD and David Ludwig, MD), and the new American Paradigm (Christopher Gardner, PhD). Also participating will be experts on often-demonized dietary components like gluten (Alessio Fasano, MD) and saturated fat (Frank Hu, MD), and specialists on diet and the environment (Mal Nesheim, PhD and Tom Kelly, PhD) and the food environment (Dariush Mozaffarian, MD). Also joining are Meir Stampfer, MD, Eric Rimm, ScD, Neal Barnard, MD and T. Colin Campbell, PhD.

Because every good message needs dependable messengers to help spread the word, Oldways is inviting many of the media’s top journalists to witness and participate in this unprecedented summit meeting. Writers for newspapers, magazines and websites have an important complementary role to play in helping the public realize that we know how to eat well; by bringing both journalists and scientists together in one place, Oldways will ensure that more consumers hear the consistent message of the Finding Common Ground Consensus, and that journalists have the opportunity to network with researchers who can act as their reliable sources for future stories. In fact, exploring how nutrition information gets miscommunicated—and how we can all do better in the future—is an important component of this event.

Oldways’ goals for the Finding Common Ground conference are ambitious:

  • to craft a unified, clear message about eating well
  • to examine the ways that nutrition messages get distorted – and why
  • to unite scientists and journalists in a positive campaign for better public health

Our aim is to make an impact on the way Americans eat, and improve public health in the U.S. by uniting scientists, journalists and food experts. 

Stay tuned! There’s lots of excitement ahead. Visit the event page for complete details or click below to make sure you’re on our Common Ground mailing list. Use the tag #OldwaysCommonGround to see live tweets from the event, conference videos, a follow-up blog post with the conference conclusions, and more continued programming. We sincerely hope you, our readers, will share our journey to Find Common Ground. 

I want info after!


~ Sara Baer-Sinnott, President, Oldways

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