In this article we shine the spotlight on the work of ERiMNN (Education and Research in Medical Nutrition Network), Nutritank and others.
November 2018 saw Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) host a sold out event to inspire conversations around the role of food in medicine.
Nutrition researchers, multi-professional clinicians and students were amongst the 200 delegates. This was also the official launch of Nutritank@bsms, a student led medical society with the aim of “bringing nutrition to medicine”.
The event was run by ERiMNN, co-founded by Dr Kathy Martyn and Elaine Macaninch – members of the NNEdPro GIP. ERiMNN encourages collaboration across different professions and community projects to increase capacity for local nutrition education and research at BSMS:
“Nutrition related risk factors are a leading cause of premature death and disability, much of which could be preventable. Despite robust and growing evidence, the role of food in maintaining health and disease management is often overlooked within medical practice and medical education. Here in Brighton we want to change this to bring together students and health professionals from all backgrounds to widen the conversation around food in healthcare”
The event was opened by Professor Gordon Ferns, head of medical education at BSMS. He stressed that all medical students are required to learn the scientific basis of nutrition in health and disease and to critically assess new evidence. Doctors need to consider nutrition within clinical assessment, to interpret complex data and to communicate with empathy and pragmatism when discussing food with patients.
Ally Jaffee one of the co-founders of Nutritank joined Phillipa Wright and the BSMS Nutritank team. Nutritank is an innovation and information hub for food, nutrition, lifestyle and sustainability. Currently, its primary aim is to implement greater nutrition and lifestyle medicine education within medical training. Nutritank has branches in over 20 medical schools nationally, as well as international networks. Watch Nutritank’s informative 3 minute animation here.
BSMS medical student, Amaran Cumarasamy talked about ‘An Apple A Day’ a student led nutrition education programme for secondary school children supported by ERiMNN members.
Food poverty affects 1 in 5 households across Brighton and Hove, representing 50,000 people. Vic Borril from the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership talked about Community action, offering food, links to sources of help and reducing social isolation. Examples include food banks and the redistribution of surplus foods to lunch clubs and community cafes and the chance to learn new nutrition skills via the Brighton Community kitchen.
Peas Please is a collaboration between Brighton Public Health team and Lidl, helping to support families on a low income to buy and eat more veg. Helping understand buying habits and to reduce barriers to help make vegetables the star of the plate for young and old.
Dr Ifigeneia Giannopoulou, discussed the effects of mindful eating on eating behaviour and relationship with food. Practical exercises helped the audience to gain a first awareness of how they eat and to identify any triggers of overeating, undereating or emotional eating.
Finally, we were joined by Dr Rupy Aujla. He is also the founder of ‘Culinary Medicine UK’ – a non-profit organisation which aims to teach doctors and medical students the foundations of nutrition as well as teaching them how to cook.
“As a doctor, I see the effects of poor dietary and lifestyle choices every day. I got so many questions about nutrition whilst working as a general practitioner that I plucked up the courage to get behind a camera and literally show my patients how to get phenomenal ingredients onto their plate. I’m just a straight talking doctor giving healthy eating inspiration”
NNEdPro and ERiMNN look forward to collaborating and developing closer links with each other and beyond in 2019.