The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a surge of focus on nutrition and the impact it can have on our health. Some of the most at-risk groups for severe symptoms from Covid-19 include those with health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, or heart disease – all chronic conditions that are impacted by our diet.
Sadly, those most vulnerable in our society often lack access to quality, affordable, healthy food. How can we address this imbalance in nutrition to create a fairer and healthier community, and what steps does the industry need to take to help support this? Joining our host Stefan Gates is an expert panel who will lend their insight into the problem at hand, including Michael Baber, Director, Health Action Campaign, Alison Smith, Chair of the Older People Specialist Group of the British Dietetic Association and Duane Mellor, Senior Teaching Fellow, Aston Medical School.
About our panel
Duane Mellor, Senior Teaching Fellow, Aston Medical School
Duane Mellor is an experienced dietitian, researcher and educator having published over 60 papers in the fields of dietetics, nutrition and food science. Having spent the first decade of his career working in diabetes care as a dietitian he moved into research where he investigated the effects of dark chocolate on cardiovascular risk in people with type 2 diabetes. Recently he has moved into medical education at Aston Medical School, but still is active in diabetes care as part of the Diabetes UK Nutrition Working Group and British Dietetic Association Diabetes Special Interest Group committee.
Michael Baber, Director, Health Action Campaign
Michael is Director of Health Action Campaign and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health. He is a former College Principal and Charity CEO. Health Action Campaign encourages government and businesses to make healthy choices easier for people. It is a member of the Obesity Health Alliance.
Alison Smith, Chair of the Older People Specialist Group of the British Dietetic Association
Alison has been qualified as a Dietitian for more than 20 years, and for the last 7 years has worked as a Prescribing Support Dietitian within a Clinical Commissioning Group. Her role focuses on appropriate prescribing of all products relating to nutrition, with a particular remit for appropriate prescription of oral nutritional supplements and appropriate identification and treatment of malnutrition. Her particular interests include malnutrition, care homes, dysphagia, dementia, frailty, pressure ulcers and end of life.
She is the chair of the Older People Specialist Group of the British Dietetic Association (BDA), and as part of her role she has represented dietitians working with older people on a number of national initiatives and spoken at many national conferences.