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News from Newport's University
Article Type: Food facts From: Nutrition & Food Science, Volume 38, Issue 4.
Child obesity and nutrition on menu at international conference
With stories of a “child obesity epidemic” making front page news, a major conference in Cardiff will focus on the latest research into food and nutrition and examine ways that parents and those working with children can help ensure all young people have a better future through healthy eating.
The Dyscovery Centre at the University of Wales, Newport is one of the organisers of the National Children's Nutrition Conference, entitled “Better Nutrition, Better Learning, Better Futures”, at St. David's Hotel.
Jane Hutt A.M., Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills, is one of the expert speakers from all over the world who looks at the latest research into how nutrition links to children's behaviour, learning and well-being.
“This aim of this conference will be to encourage health practitioners to learn more about the importance of nutrition and provide practical solutions to enable schools to make healthy eating a priority”, said Professor Amanda Kirby, Medical Director of the Dyscovery Centre, whose team of health and educational professionals examine the links between developmental disorders, behaviour and nutrition.
“The conference will prove invaluable for health and educational professionals, GPs, those working with young people in youth services, as well as nutritionists and researchers working in the fields of child development, neuroscience and education”, she added.
Among the speakers are:
Professor Amanda Kirby, Medical Director, The Dyscovery Centre, University of Wales, Newport. She runs an interdisciplinary team of health and educational professionals at the Centre and has an interest in the links between developmental disorders, behaviour and nutrition. She is currently undertaking a large scale research study with children in Newport, Wales, examining potential effects of omega-3 fatty acids on behaviour and learning.
Professor David Benton, Professor of Psychology at Swansea University. David Benton has studied Biochemical Pharmacology and examined biological correlates of mood and cognition, typically studying the influence of nutrition on physiology and hence psychological functioning. Recent interests in the nutrition of children have included the study of the influence of the pattern of meals, and their macro-nutrient composition on cognition and behaviour.
;Professor Michael Crawford, Director, Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition, London Metropolitan University. Michael Crawford is a leading expert in brain chemistry and human nutrition, specialising in work on dietary fats and the health benefits of essential fatty acids to humans. In his 1989 book The Driving Force: Food, Evolution and the Future, he presented significant evidence in favour of the aquatic ape theory, principally that the modern human brain is unlikely to have developed on a savannah diet, but could have found the long-chain fatty acids it is built from easily in the seafood of a littoral environment.
Dr Paul Clayton, Immediate Past President, Forum on Food and Health, Royal Society of Medicine. Paul Clayton is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine and a former Senior Scientific Advisor to the UK government's Committee on the Safety of Medicines. Visiting Fellow, Oxford Brookes University, Academic Director, ISPAN Academy (Norway), Scientific Director, Albert Szent-Gyorgi Institute for PharmacoNutrition, Hungary and author of “Health Defence and Pharmageddon”.
Professor Bonnie J. Kaplan, Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Bonnie Kaplan has lived in Canada since 1979 where she serves on the National Advisory Board of the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada. Her research focus has been on developmental problems and she also has an ongoing interest in nutrient-behaviour interactions, having studied the impact of food “additives” on children with ADHD and also, since the 1990s, the role of supplementation with micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) for the treatment of mood, aggression and explosive rage.
Dr Alex Richardson, Founder Director of Food and Behaviour Research (FAB Research). Alex Richardson is a leading authority on the role of nutrition (and particularly fatty acids) in child behaviour and learning and adult mental health. She has more than 80 research publications from her work at Oxford University's Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, and is a founder director of the charity FAB Research.
Dr Stephanie Matthews, Consultant in Medical Biochemistry with a special interest in food intolerance and cholesterol problems. Stephanie Matthews is the co-discoverer of systemic symptoms of lactose sensitivity and has published recommendations for a new diagnostic framework in lactose sensitivity which includes a genetic test. She ran a successful NHS clinic for food intolerance for five years and is continuing this service as “The Diet Detective”. She is co-author of a lactose-free cookbook and several peer-reviewed scientific papers on the subject.
Professor Kevin Morgan, School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University. Kevin Morgan is Professor of European Regional Development, member of the Urban and Regional Governance Research Group and Director of the Regeneration Institute; he is an associate member of BRASS. Kevin has been with Cardiff University since 1989 and previously worked as a research fellow at the University of Sussex. His area of interest includes food provisioning in schools and the corresponding role of local and organic produce.
In addition to the Dyscovery Centre, the conference is supported by the Waterloo Foundation, which funds projects related to children's psychological development, and FAB Research, a charitable organisation dedicated to advancing scientific research into the links between nutrition and human behaviour.
The Dyscovery Centre is part of the University of Wales, Newport. It has an international reputation for its work in developmental disorders, offering research and training, together with a comprehensive clinical service for children and adults. For more information, visit www.dyscovery.co.uk
The Waterloo Foundation is an independent grant-making Foundation based in Wales, funding projects both in the UK and worldwide. It has a dedicated interest in children's psychological development, particularly the impact of environmental factors – including children's nutrition – and genetic factors, on neuropsychological development. For further information, readers can log on to www.waterloofoundation.org.uk
FAB Research is a charitable organisation dedicated both to advancing scientific research into the links between nutrition and human behaviour, and to making the findings from such research available to the widest possible audience (www.fabresearch.org).