Choices International was founded in Europe, where the International Scientific Committee, the International Industry Support Group, and the International Secretariat are based. In addition, a European Scientific Committee also exists, which is responsible for the adaptation of our international criteria for the application to food products marketed in European countries. This committee consists of four independent scientists with long experience in the fields of health and nutrition.
Prof. Gülden Pekcan is the Head of the Community Nutrition Division at the Hacettepe University Faculty of Health Sciences Department of Nutrition and Dietetics in Ankara. She is heavily involved in research on special diets and the elaboration of nutrition strategies. She has participated in and coordinated many national and international collaborative studies. She has previously been a consultant in the development of a National Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition. She has also been a member of several advisory committees and councils of national programs, ministries, UNICEF and FAO in Turkey, as well as on public health nutrition topics. She is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Turkish Ministry of Health on iodine deficiency disorders and iodization of salt, prevention of iron deficiency anemia, bone health, and vitamin D deficiency. She is also a member of the national codex committee on nutrition and foods for special dietary uses, the Turkish Society of Public Health Genomics and Nutrigenetics (TOGEN), and of the Advisory Board of the Foundation for the Advancement of the Mediterranean Diet (Spain). She is the local coordinator of the EU F6 project EUROPREVOB and a participant in the BRAFO project.
Declaration of interest Prof. Pekcan
Prof. Greet Vansant was trained as a clinical nutritionist at Wageningen University (The Netherlands) and received a Ph.D. in Medical Sciences at Antwerp University (Belgium) in 1990. Her main research interests are obesity, nutrition during pregnancy, and socio-economic influences on lifestyle habits. She is currently working as a professor for the department of Nutrition, Preventive Medicine at the Catholic University in Leuven (Belgium), and she serves as a clinical scientific advisor at the local university hospital. Professor Vansant is an active member of the National Health Council of Belgium and the advisory committee of the National Food Safety Authority, among others. She is also Vice-President of the Belgian Nutrition Society and the Flemish Society for Clinical Nutrition. Since 1987, she has published more than 330 papers, abstracts, book chapters and reports in international peer-reviewed and national journals.
Declaration of interest Prof. Vansant
Prof. Monique Raats is Reader and Director of the Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre at the University of Surrey (UK). Prof. Raats previously worked at the Institute of Food Research, Health Education Authority, and University of Oxford (UK). Her portfolio of research covers a wide range of topics (e.g., food choice, policy development, food labeling) and methodologies (e.g., qualitative, quantitative, stakeholder consultation). She has also been involved in the evaluation of health promotion programs and the development of tools for nutrition education. After she joined the University of Surrey in 2000, she has been playing a central role in securing research funding for both national and European research projects. She has published over 60 peer-reviewed papers, 16 book chapters, and co-edited two books, "The Psychology of Food Choice" (2006) and "Food for the Ageing Population" (2008). She currently has a leadership role on several EU-funded projects, including FLABEL (Food Labelling to Advance Better Education for Life). She is also one of the founding members and recent secretary of the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity. She recently joined the UK's Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition.
Kees de Graaf is Chairman division of Human Nutrition and Professor in Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour at the Wageningen University & Research center (The Netherlands). He has studied nutrition science at the same university. His key subject of research is Sensory and Eating Behaviour. In 1988 he received his Ph.D. with a dissertation titled 'Psychophysical studies of mixtures of tastants.'