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World-leading diet and ageing researcher Professor Luigi Fontana joins us.

Facilitating innovative ways to fight lifestyle diseases

August 2018

World-leading diet and ageing researcher Professor Luigi Fontana joins us.

World-leading diet and ageing researcher Professor Luigi Fontana joins us.

Internationally renowned diet and ageing researcher Professor Luigi Fontana, who is credited with conducting the foundational research that gave rise to the 5:2 diet, has joined Sydney Local Health District.

Professor Fontana’s ground-breaking work into the role of diet on ageing and the long-term effects of calorie restriction has led to its acceptance as an intervention to reduce risk factors in cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The 5:2 diet, also known as the fasting diet, is where followers eat normally for five days then restrict calories for two days. Professor Fontana’s research has shown intermittent fasting promotes weight loss, renew body cells and slow the aging process

Sydney Local Health District Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson said Professor Fontana’s pioneering approach to the human ageing process will add to our efforts to reduce the enormous and devastating impact of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease and their related conditions.

“Professor Fontana is an international leader in aging research and his appointment represents a major step forward in promoting healthy aging in our District, nationally and internationally,” Dr Anderson said.

“Lifestyle interventions are the key to healthy aging. With our growing numbers of older people, it is really important for health care and medical research to focus on nutrition and exercise.”

An Editor-in-Chief of Nutrition and Healthy Aging, Professor Fontana has published widely in high calibre journals including Science and Nature.

Professor Fontana said he was looking forward to collaboration with colleagues at the University and the District to develop innovative, cross-disciplinary teaching, research and clinical programs that emphasise the role of nutrition and physical exercise in preventing chronic disease and promoting healthy longevity.

“Every day I observe many unhealthy people around me that are suffering and believe that chronic diseases are due to bad genes or misfortune,” he said.

“We now know that many of the most common chronic illnesses are preventable. Modern medicine makes it possible for patients to live with multiple chronic diseases for decades. But these years are characterised not by joy, freedom, action, independence and creativity, but rather by suffering, fear, debility and dependence on increasingly costly medical systems.

“My research and clinical practice in Sydney will focus not only on increasing longevity, but also on understanding the precise mechanisms by which nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle interventions can lead to a healthy old age, and a creative, successful and fulfilling life.

Professor Fontana has been appointed the Leonard P Ullmann Chair of Translational Metabolic Health at the University of Sydney and will initially work out of the Charles Perkins Centre RPA Clinic at Camperdown.

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