I had the pleasure this week of meeting Dr Fred Pender the first graduate of dietetics in the UK and author of several textbooks, including the informative Blackwell best seller ‘Clinical Cases in Dietetics’.Dr Pender has practiced as a Dietitian at the Murrayfield Hospital since it opened in 1984 and has a very impressive CV. This includes Dietitian in gastroenterology; Chief Renal Specialist; Area Dietitian; a range of teaching posts and presenting his body of work in Boston, San Diego, Assisi, Madrid, Umea, Jerusalem and now Ormskirk in Lancashire!
I met Dr Pender as he delivered his lecture as part of the Edge Hill Public Lectures Series organised by the University’s Health and Social Care Faculty. His presentation ‘Life is a Minestrone’ provided a fascinating insight in to his role as Lead Specialist Dietitian with the bariatric weight loss service at the Spire Edinburgh Hospitals where he has developed the dietetic arm of the multi-disciplinary team supporting clients who are overweight and obese.
Dr Pender talked about the challenges faced by his patients, the different types of bariatric surgery and some of the changes patients experience after surgery including; reduced appetite, a heightened sense of sweetness and smell, and psychological displacement.
As part of the lecture we were all asked to complete a questionnaire to help us explore our relationship with food, and the nutrition students amongst us were encouraged to try to understand other people’s relationship with food too, including taking time to observe people eating in large groups.
The lecture was illuminating from start to finish and Dr Pender closed by highlighting the importance of having a skilled workforce to help address the issue of overweight and obesity. If you are interested his suggestions for good eating behaviour, they were:
- Eating slowly
- Drinking plenty of water
- Regular eating
- Awareness of serving size
- Varied eating – consuming a range of different ingredients per day, e.g. aim for seventeen
- Good meal composition
You couldn’t help being inspired by Dr Pender and as I pen my application for a Post Graduate Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics at Chester University I’ll be thinking about the difference he’s made during his dietetic career, spanning 30 years.
A big ‘thank you’ goes to Dr Pender for taking the time to come to Edge Hill University and for agreeing to do a ‘posey’ photo for my blog.