Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”, said Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine. The proposed conference focuses on the close relationship between nutrition and disability. Nutrition, as we know, is the branch of science that addresses the nutrients needed for a living being in order to grow, reproduce and maintain overall health. As for disability, it can be summarized as any condition that makes it difficult for a person to perform certain activities or interact with the world around them. These conditions, or disabilities, may be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, sensory, or a combination of multiple factors. Disabilities that cause disability can be present from birth or occur during a person’s life. Important connections, sometimes even overlapping areas, exist between nutrition and disability – not forgetting issues, if we call them so, concern not only us, human beings, but also animals, plants and every living being in general. Being nutrition a requirement for the very existence and the survival of any organism – i.e., each and every individual entity that embodies the properties of life”, and being disability a condition that may affect any such individual, whether from birth, either in the course of his life. These being the facts, the core issue emerges as the congenital character of nutrition, disability and life itself; in a way, they are twin realities. Intersection moments of those two fields, namely nutrition and disability, can be easily detected when one takes into consideration the fact that, according to reliable researches show that the higher the rates of disability and developmental delay of a country, the higher the levels of malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies presented by it (always remembering that “nutritional deficiency occurs when the body doesn’t absorb or get from food the necessary amount of a nutrient. Deficiencies can lead to a variety of health problems. These can include digestion problems, skin disorders, stunted or defective bone growth, and even dementia” (Alan Carter et alii. https://www.healthline.com/health/malnutrition). Easy is to notice that the relationship works both ways: problems concern nutrition leads to disability, as well as disability favours malnutrition. At the end of the conference, some measures to make better use of nutrients to prevent and mitigate the damage caused by disability in our world, whose human population includes 10% of the disabled. As for the measures proposed, here are some of them, in their guidelines:
a) promoting awareness concerning the necessity of a stronger commitment on the behalf of the international community, in order to tackle nutrition and disability as issues closely connected.
b) drawing up and implementing projects which will address this issues simultaneously and the maximum of objectivity, at both national and international levels.
c) pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, especially disabled ones, must be given priority attention at all stages of any project of this kind.
Keywords: Nutrition, Food, Disability, Social Inclusion, Social Integration