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Student-led hub for nutrition in medical education wins BBC Food and Farming Award

The organisation was set-up after Iain and Ally learnt some medical students are receiving as little as eight hours of compulsory nutrition training out of the five or six years at medical school. Faced with rising levels of chronic disease, mainly related to poor diet and lifestyle, Nutritank has founded more than 20 medical school societies across the UK. The campaign is now feeding into the NHS long-term plan.

The BBC Food and Farming Awards were launched in 2000, to mark the 20th anniversary of Radio 4’s The Food Programme. Originally comprising seven categories, the number has increased to eleven to reflect changes in British food culture, new ideas, businesses and trends. This year a new category, the Pat Llewellyn New Talent Award, was added looking for those under 30 who are passionate, have innovative new ideas and are working hard to improve food or farming in the UK.

Iain Broadley and Ally Jaffee, Bristol Medical School students and co-founders of Nutritank, said: “We are so humbled and thrilled to receive this prestigious award and the recognition that it brings to our work. This award is especially amazing as Pat had done so much to revolutionise good food on the TV, working with Jamie Oliver in creating ‘the naked chef’, which was at the very beginning of his career.

“Jamie has now gone onto do so much fantastic work with food and social change and it feels so special to have worked with him last year. We feel so thankful for the support he has shown us as well as the BBC and the judges Ben and Barney. Jamie was also the individual who announced us as the winners for the Pat Llewellyn prize at the BBC Food Awards.”

High blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease are some of the UK’s major chronic health conditions that are associated with mortality and disability. With many of these conditions, the first line management is to offer patients diet and lifestyle advice. However, doctors and medical students can feel ill-equipped to give such advice.

Nutritank was set-up to make a change to the healthcare system by ensuring that there is greater nutrition and lifestyle medicine education within medical training, to give doctors another tool in their toolbox.

The organisation, through its think tank wants each UK based medical school to commit to increasing nutrition and lifestyle education within their medical school programmes by the end of 2019.

Since Nutritank was founded the organisation has inspired a network of medical students nationwide. They have become regional Nutritank ambassadors and have established their own Nutritank branch at their medical school. There are 33 UK medical schools in the UK and, in under two years, 23 medical schools have established Nutritank branches.

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