Food and Behaviour Research

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What our delegates and speakers said

Group outside lecture theatre

Date: 2011


Links with mental health (particularly schizophrenia) and aggression useful for me, (both personal knowledge and teaching the Psychology A level syllabus).  Also I was interested in research methodology. Teacher of Psychology/Health Social Care – Oxford 2010

Will be talking to clinical governance and physical health forum to remove vending machines and snack food from unit.  Fantastic day, so informative, inspiring and cutting edge.  Lots of info/research to take and employ in the clinical work place. Dietitian, Medium Secure Psychiatric  – Oxford 2010

What I learned today will impact on my pre-conceptual counselling, anti-natal counselling and work with foster children. GP – Oxford 2010

Nutrition is so important but medical education practice still totally ignores it.  I wish more GPs were interested in nutrition.  I do my best! GP – Oxford 2010

Some of what has been said today is new; trying to teach clients and patients in mental health to make significant changes in their eating habits is difficult, it's encouraging to hear I have been working along the right lines. Mental Health Worker – Oxford 2010

My parents need educating on nutrition!  I learned the reasons behind having a healthy diet.  Far more influential than just knowing you are supposed to!  Speakers all very interesting.  Primary School Teacher – Edinburgh 2010 

Confirmed my views on the relationship between nutrition, brain and behaviour.  I am a researcher, so only recent findings were new - all still very enjoyable.  I research for children with brain-related neurological conditions therefore very pertinent. Children’s Services, Mental Health – Edinburgh 2010 

The message about food and mood needs passing on desperately.  As I am a parent and do not work within any of these fields, will just pass on my knowledge to anyone who wants to listen!  The conference was excellent, very informative.  Courses like this should be more readily available to parents/carers, but I do understand the funding issue.  Parent – Manchester 2010

It's raised my awareness of the importance of a healthy diet for all, not just those with behavioural issues/problems. Early Years Officer, Local Authority - Cardiff 2009

I will be providing an inset to ALL staff in April 2009 on ADHD/Food Intolerance. PT, Independent Boarding School - Brighton 2009

I will use this information to persuade my organisation to develop a project using nutrition to help the young people we work with. Children's Worker in Health and Education, Edinburgh 2009

I will provide feedback to all public health networks - health visitors/pre-school networks/youth service/school nurse, council. All that I heard today was inspirational and useful and gives me confidence to stand up for advocating proper food.  Community Development Dietitian - Cardiff 2009

The conference has given us invaluable research to support children and families and practice in our children's centre. Excellent presentations, life-changing information.  Teacher, Children's Centre - Edinburgh 2009

Inspiring to hear professionals on top of their game and was extremely helpful to hear the hard evidence I can use in the struggle to get help for my son. Restored my faith in health professionals and confirmed that I am not mad! Parent of child with dyslexia, allergies, depression, exhaustion and over-active immune system - Edinburgh 2009


At the Edinburgh 2009 conference, we conducted interviews with some of the speakers.

Professor Malcolm Peet, Consultant Psychiatrist; NHS Consultant, Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber. Leading international researcher in the field of nutrition and mental health, now working primary with young people aged 14-35 with a first episode of psychosis, and also has an academic attachment with the University of Sheffield:

"As a psychiatrist dealing with young people, I am acutely aware that young people have terrible diets - even worse than the general population and that's bad enough! Many people with more serious mental health problems also have associated physical health problems, particularly heart disease, obesity and diabetes. All of those are nutritionally related, so there's very good reason - both from the point of view of mental and physical health - to be concerned about people's nutrition. Even if you don't believe that nutrition is important for mental health, then at the very least people's nutrition should be attended to because of the associated physical health problems that they suffer. The important thing is to get this message out to as many people as possible. People don't know what the evidence is - it's outside the usual paradigm. People don't think about nutrition. In the past, there's been a lot of quackery associated with nutrition. What we do is based on a good, sound scientific basis, and the merits of FAB Research are that they share that vision. The aim of FAB Research is to develop good scientific evidence and to disseminate that to the actual practitioners - to people who can make use of it to help people. Research is of no use to anybody unless it's practically applied, and the conferences FAB Research runs are a major vehicle for doing that".

Dave Rex, Dietitian for Children's Services working for NHS Highland, and Healthy Eating in Schools Co-ordinator

"Within nutrition, we've been very interested in the impact of the food we eat on diet-related cancers, heart disease, strokes, oral health, and all of that is undoubtedly important. But a lot of these things - particularly cancer and heart disease - feel an awfully long way off for children and young people, their parents and teachers. We're looking at changing our behaviour now for affecting health in 30, 40, 50 years time. The advantage of FAB Research is not only that it's particularly relevant to children I see with ASD and ADHD, but it's also very relevant to all children because the impact of changing what you eat on your mood can be as quick as hours, days, weeks or months, rather than years or decades".

Professor Gordon Bell, Project Leader, Nutrition Group, Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling; long-standing interest, particularly of Omega-3 fatty acids

"The website and conferences provide valuable information which isn't always available and in an easily digested form for lay people or for that matter, professionals, or from government sources, so I think FAB Research is doing a really good job".

Dr Tom Gilhooly, Glasgow-based GP and Medical Advisor

"The major benefit of FAB Research is to highlight this nutritional component, which is easily forgotten in a world where we're dominated by drugs and the pharmaceutical industry. It's easy to forget that some of the basic problems may well be nutritional deficiencies that can be corrected usually fairly easily, and these make a significant difference. It might be that it's not replacing drug treatment but complementing and augmenting drug treatment".

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