Dietitians Week 2017 event: Eat Fact Not Fiction

Our fantastic Eat Fact Not Fiction Event took place on 12 June at Horizons Leeds. We were pleased to welcome BDA members, students and members of the public to hear from our six fantastic speakers discussing why evidence and expertise are so important in nutrition. Videos of all the speakers are available on Youtube.

Our speakers

Anne Holdoway RD (also event Chair)

Anne’s career spans 30 years in a variety of sectors including key positions in the NHS, private healthcare and industry. In clinical practice Anne currently utilises her expanse of knowledge and expertise in gastroenterology, nutrition support and palliative care, to advise patients (and carers) on dietary modifications to improve well-being, symptom control and optimise quality of life.

Anne speaks and presents at educational events nationally and internationally, and has represented dietetics in many national positions including as Chair of the Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition Group of the BDA. Anne has also acted as an Advisor to The British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN) and the British Society of Gastroenterology, was a member of the NICE guideline development group for the 2015 guidance on the diagnosis and management of coeliac disease and influenced the outputs of the National Nutrition and Hydration Action Alliance. She was awarded a Fellowship of the BDA in 2016 for her contribution to dietetics at a national level.

Anne's talk was entitled The burden of disease, the benefit of diet and the expert dietitian. She looked at the critical condition of the state of the population’s health, burden of long term conditions on healthcare, the impact of disease on quality of life. 

Mary O’Kane RD

Mary is a consultant dietitian in adult obesity at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, supporting patients with severe and complex obesity through their weight loss journeys. She has over 35 years’ experience as a dietitian and over this time has sat on a number of national groups including British Nutrition Foundation Obesity Task Force, NICE Obesity Clinical Guidelines group and NHS England Obesity Clinical Reference Group.  

She sits on the committees of the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS) and the British Dietetic Association Obesity group. She is a member of the Association for the Study of Obesity UK and International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders. Her MSc in Advanced Nutrition resulted in the publication of the BOMSS nutritional guidelines for patients undergoing bariatric (weight loss) surgery, the first in the UK.  She also led the Obesity Clinical Reference subgroup which produced “Guidelines for the follow-up of patients undergoing bariatric surgery”. Both of these guidelines promote the importance of good aftercare and support. She has several publications and is active in the education and training of healthcare professionals. In 2016, she was awarded a Fellowship of the BDA in recognition of her national work in promoting the profession and the science and practice of dietetics.

Mary's talk was entitled Using dietetic expertise and evidence based practice to help patients after weight loss surgery, where she highlighted the work she did to help patients in their recovery from bariatric surgery. 

Anthony Warner the “Angry Chef”

Anthony has been a chef for 25 years and is passionate about food, having worked in Michelin-starred kitchens and as a development chef for food manufacturers. He also has a background in science, having studied a BSc at university.

More recently, he has started the popular “Angry Chef” blog, where he seeks to “expose lies, pretensions and stupidity in the world of food”, with help from characters such as “Captain Science” and the “Evidence Warrior”. Using facts and humour, Angry Chef expertly skewers those who spread nutrition nonsense. His first book, Bad Science and the Truth About Healthy Eating, will be published in July 2017.

Anthony talked about the reasons why people might fall for pseudoscience and myths about diet. His talk looked at how regression to the mean might influence people to false beliefs about the curative effects of food, and the danger of mistaking correlation for causation. 

Rachael Masters RD

Rachael is the Senior Specialist Dietitian for the Focus on Undernutrition team, based at the Nutrition and Dietetic Service, part of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust. Throughout her 22 year dietetic career, she has specialised in the nutritional needs of the elderly and just undertaken MSc in clinical leadership and research, where she completed her dissertation on the Focus service. She has received sixteen national and local awards, including the HSJ award and national NHS Inspirational Leadership Award. 

Rachael has represented dietitians on several national organisations, including the development of the NICE quality standards. Arising from her work with the Focus service she has worked with Women’s Hour on Radio 4, ITV, and the Food Standards Agency.

Rachael's talk was entitled Focus on Undernutrition: a strategic and evidence based approach to undernutrition in care homes.

Natasha Lipman

Natasha is a chronic illness blogger and activist from London. She is a freelance writer, soon-to-be-charity boss and podcast host. Her presentation was entitled What’s the harm? How I turned to the world of “wellness” out of desperation to cure my chronic illness where she discussed how people come to believe the dangerous fads of the wellness world and her personal experience of that environment. 

Natasha has run international youth journalism projects, including the first one to facilitate the stories of young Libyans experiences during the Arab Spring in their own words. You can often find her on social media @natashalipman and on her blog writing about the realities of living with multiple chronic illnesses in your twenties, and the dangers of the wellness industry.

Kimberley Littlemore

Kimberley is a fellow of Swansea University Medical School and an award-winning former BBC filmmaker. At the BBC, Kimberley oversaw the creation of documentary content on international development issues to raise funds for the developing world via the British charity Comic Relief.  One of these fundraising films raised £5 million in 5 minutes – possibly the most successful fundraiser ever broadcast in the UK.

As Creative Director of PocketMedic she is responsible for producing high-quality film content, working with award-winning crews and graphic animators. Her ambition is to deliver healthcare information globally to those living without reliable access to primary or secondary care in the developing world.

Kimberley offered her thoughts on communicating evidence-based advice and information in innovative ways in a talk entitled Prescribing film-based information to change patient behaviours.