This years Nutrition Society Winter Meeting on ‘Nutrition and age-related muscle loss, sarcopenia and cachexia’, was every bit as good as last years event. The two day symposium organised by the Royal College of Medicine and the Nutrition Society was packed full of interesting speakers, poster presentations and opportunities to network.
The event helped me to understand the role skeletal muscle plays in maintaining health and wellbeing and the importance of nutrition in preventing sarcopenia (the loss of mass, strength and function) and cachexia (involuntary rapid loss of body weight and muscle mass).
The lectures, oral presentations and poster sessions provided information from a clinical perspective and findings from current research. I found the biochemistry and physiology fascinating and although as a nutrition student I’m certainly no expert, the presentations really helped me understand how bodily functions and chemical processes change with age.
Everyone I met was so passionate about their subject and it was great to chat with those who had just presented their research findings, and those like me, who are studying and may present at the event in future.
I met many interesting people including:
- a Dietitian I follow on Twitter (Dr Sarah Bath)
- a Psychiatrist who had worked in eating disorder clinics,
- a nutrition student who has applied for a studentship in Hong Kong,
- a Dietitian who has an amazing career as a freelance,
- a member of the Royal College of Medicine.
I also spent time chatting to Research Dietitian (Eva Grace) from Kings College London who presented finding from a longitudinal cohort study she has undertaken into the ‘persistence and development of malnutrition in patients with upper-gastrointestinal cancer’.
Eva’s lecture was fascinating and introduced me to the Patient Generated Subjective Global Assessment (PG-SGA) they used which is a nutritional assessment considered to be the gold standard that has been validated in the oncology setting. I discovered that this was more in-depth and reliable than the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) more widely used to assess patients in a clinical setting as it consists of only four simple steps.
I really enjoyed the whole event and loved spending a couple of days in London. On the way back from the meeting, to the hotel after day one I called in to Selfridge’s Department Store and ended up watching ‘Paddington Bear’ in the Everyman cinema on the lower ground floor. The cinema was lovely: very plush, sofas, comfy chairs and a bar! Had a great time – a brilliant two days from start to finish.
I would recommend all nutrition students attend events run by the Nutrition Society they really do bring a subject to life.