Podcast

Lauren Stiebing 19 August 2019

The Global State of Nutrition with Martin Dos Ramos

Looking at the news, shops, restaurants or TV adverts it has become apparent that one of the biggest revolutions taking place, and which will unfold in the coming years, is centered around the how and what we eat. Consumers demand more options, more information and overall a better understanding of food, which will allow individuals to eventually become healthier and more environmentally sustainable. To dive deeper into this matter, we have invited Bayer Consumer Health’s Global Head of Nutritionals, Martin dos Ramos. Martin has 28 years’ experience in the consumer good field working for large multinationals such as Colgate, Nabisco and Bayer.

Topic covered in this podcast:

  • Which trends should we take into account when it comes to nutrition and health.
  • How are people today thinking about nutrition compared to past.
  • What are some of the challenges with nutrition today.
  • What is the role of nutrition in healthcare and how has digitalization and personalization had an effect on that.
  • How does Bayer make a difference in Nutrition around the world?

Lauren:

Hi, I’m Lauren Stiebing and welcome to this episode of the Career Success Podcast. Nutrition has become a hot topic recently, both in the developed and developing world. We would like to dive a bit deeper into this topic and we’ve invited Bayer Consumer Health’s Global Head of Nutritionals, Martin Dos Ramos. Martin has 28 years’ experience in the consumer goods and healthcare field, working for large multinationals such as Colgate, Nabisco and Bayer. Welcome Martin.

Martin:

Hello Lauren. Thanks for having me; a pleasure to talk to you again.

Lauren:

Thank you for joining us. So today, we’re going to be discussing about health and nutrition specifically. So, it seems that people are starting to focus more and more on their health and nutrition in particular. People today are thinking about nutrition in completely different ways than they did in the past. Why do you think that is?

Martin:

Well, I think that even if I remember my childhood and truly the same to you. The body was in a way seen as a black box. So basically, any food was good. Anything you could put in could make the job to provide the energy, to provide basically everything, all the nutrients you could need and that was it. We didn’t question too much. With time and a long decades, I think everyone knows now that the kind of food you have makes a whole difference; actually makes all the difference. And now people tend to think more like you are what you eat or your body is a temple, et cetera. So they are very aware that the amount and quality of food you have can make a whole difference in your health and wellbeing.

Lauren:

And what do you think some of the challenges with nutrition are today?

Martin:

So I would take probably two perspectives. One, the social one; that is nutrition as a topic for society globally. And the other one is the individual one that I was mentioning.  So let me start with the social one. When you look at the facts, they are actually astonishing because basically one third of every person in the world is malnourished today and you don’t need to go only to poor countries or under developed countries to see that. When I see malnourished, I’m talking about for example, child underdevelopment on one side, but also obesity on the other one. And actually today, those two are competing for the first spot, in terms of the number one issues about nutrition globally. This is due to lack of education. This is due to lack of infrastructure in some cases and of course lack of financial means for some people but at the end the challenge is huge. I think is one of the biggest challenges humanity has today in moving forward.

Lauren:

Okay.

Martin:

The second angle that is not the social one, but the individual one is as I was telling you; people are very aware today that the body is not any longer a black box. So what you eat makes a whole difference but doing that right is a different thing. Understanding basically how to do that well, what to eat, what are you missing, how to compensate for that, et cetera can be totally overwhelming because there are so many factors that are coming to play and so people need help and that is another kind of challenge. So even for people having the financial means, having the education and everything else and even living in a rich country can be a big challenge to do the right thing in terms of nutrition.

Lauren:

How should people go about getting that information or understanding how nutrition works and what they should and shouldn’t be doing?

Martin:

So I think number one probably is to have full clarity that good nutrition, probably some physical activity, the two together are the best prevention for any health issue, any potential issue  you may suffer from in the future or you may be suffering from today. If you get your nutrition and your physical activity right that is a very big, big step. Also acknowledging that no matter how hard you try to eat right, that is always something you’ve missed. Let me give you one example here or maybe two. One is DHA. DHA is coming with fish oil also with an algae, but so different sources but it’s very, very hard to get in a regular diet unless you live in the North Pole or something like that then you have a lot of fatty fish. So in any other diets you are probably missing the amount you need.

Another example could be, let’s say you are about to catch a cold, you feel like that, you see people sneezing around, et cetera. So you probably need to go into high dose regimen of vitamin C; just to give one example.  To get one gram of vitamin C daily; that is what your body needs, you actually need to eat 20 oranges every day and you can do that thoroughly one day, maybe two. But can you do that during 14 days? There is time that you need to really make sure that you get the high dose you need of that particular vitamin, probably not. So diet, even good diets are missing things and some people need to know how to supplement.

Lauren:

And what is the role of nutrition in health care and how has digitalization and personalization had an effect on that?

Martin:

Well, the good news today, so first of the role is big and it’s going to be bigger in the future. The good news is, there is a lot of good technology around us today that is evolving by the minute, I would say.  Today, we can assess, we can track, and we can improve our health through these new digital devices and digital world we live in, in the future even more but even today you have already very good tools. So, with that you can do a lot of the understanding. So stop the guess work and really have a clear understanding of your particular situation and what to do about that. But then you still need the solutions and the solutions out today there if you know what you need and are evolving, as you said, into a more personalized kind of a set of tools of people including supplementation in this case.

You could have a personalized diet in the past by choosing if you go to a specialist where you get the diet for your particular situation. But now today also when it comes to supplementation to make sure that you get what you’re missing, then you can also get a personalized solution and we are actually working on that. I’m sure we are not the only ones, but we have a particular way to do it. And I think that it’s interesting for people to make sure that they will get everything they need, but only what they need and not what they don’t need. Right?

Lauren:

Sure.

Martin:

Because they have in that already through the regular diet.

Lauren:

And how does Bayer make a difference in nutrition around the world?

Martin:

Thank you for the question because we do make a difference. First of all, our company slogan is Science for a Better Life. That is already telling you on your audience, how we approach the topic. So science is a key word. Everything we do is based on science; meaning that is proven, meaning that works, so makes a difference for the health of people and its always high quality.  So whenever you see the Bayer cross that is standing for something and that is science basically.  Then we’d have all the different solutions different people may need but we also play at the leading edge in terms of  science and making sure that we are paying attention to the needs to come, let’s say– because we all evolve, any chance to name a couple of things. We live more in cities than in the countryside. We are an aging population, so we eat more industrialized food. So there are so many things that are changing. So things are not today the same as they were 30 years ago. I’m not going to be the same than in 30 years. We need to consider all of that in our science as we design solutions for them. So that is another thing that bind them within innovations is bringing into the game.

Lauren:

Okay. Well Martin, thank you so much for joining us today on our career success.

Martin:

Thank you, Lauren was the pleasure. I’m here for you any other time.