edge hill university

Nutrition Society – Dietary Assessment Methods Workshop coming to Edge Hill – can’t wait!

When Sue Crompton, Nutrition & Health student at Edge Hill University sent a message to ‘The Nutrition Society’, on Facebook, asking them to bring one of its prestigious events ‘Up North’ she didn’t think they actually would.  Well they have! 

Sue & Val already looking forward to the Nutrition Society event

The event coming to Edge Hill is the ‘Dietary Assessment Workshop’ which will be taking place on 26th March 2015. (Book by 5th Feb to take advantage of the early bird booking fee of £200).

  • Sue has had a lifelong interest in nutrition and exercise and says she’s really looking forward to the day and is delighted to be helping organise the event along with Kathleen Mooney our Senior Lecturer. 

The workshop will bring together current knowledge and practice on dietary assessment methods, with a particular focus on choosing correct assessment techniques for optimising dietary intake data measurement.

The practical, guided sessions will enable delegates to trial computational analysis of dietary data and include one-to-one drop-in discussions with experts in the field.

The workshop is open for all with a Bsc level of knowledge in dietary assessment methods.

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As for me, I’m really looking forward finding out about the new approaches to dietary assessment. This is a great skill to have and it’s brilliant that it’s on our doorstep.

Well done Sue, you did great!


Sue -Nutrition Society - local organiser

Sue – Nut Soc Local Organiser

Registration fees:

All prices to attend are inclusive of training materials, lunch, refreshments, wi-fi and use of computer.

  • The cost for early bird booking is £200 (inc. VAT) valid until 5 February 2015.

From 6th Feb the cost will be:

  • Members of the Nutrition Society: £260 (inc. VAT)
  • Non-members: £330 (inc. VAT) Valid from 6 February 2015
    You can book this workshop online

Aims and objectives:

  • Select appropriate dietary assessment methods to address research aims
  • Understand how to minimise data collection error whilst estimating portion sizes
  • Understand limitations about food composition databases
  • Learn about new approaches in dietary assessment methods
  • Familiarise themselves with energy adjustment in nutrition surveys
  • Appreciate the application of dietary pattern methodology in nutrition surveys

Continue Professional Development (CPD) credits

This event has received Association for Nutrition (AfN) CPD Endorsement.
– See more at: http://www.nutritionsociety.org/training-and-education/dietary-assessment-methods#sthash.WuD4HR2G.dpuf- See more at: http://www.nutritionsociety.org/training-and-education/dietary-assessment-methods#sthash.WuD4HR2G.dpuf

Edge Hill - University of the year 2015

Edge Hill – University of the year 2015

Inspired by the first graduate of dietetics in the UK – Dr Fred Pender!

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’.Fred 3Dr 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!Fred1

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.Fred 2

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.


Meet Hayley a mother who followed her instinct…

As a nutrition student I love chatting to people about nutrition related health issues. This week I met Hayley Anderson who delivers ‘Walking Away From Diabetes’ sessions at the Skelmersdale Community Food Initiative. Hayley a former Community Nurse, who studied at Edge Hill University, shared with me the story of her son Evan and the concerns she had about his digestive health, from an early age.

Hayley & Evan

Hayley & Evan

Hayley told me that as a baby Evan had suffered from recurring bouts of reflux, projectile vomiting and problems swallowing and how initially this was put down to possetting or common digestive problems.

Having trained as a nurse Hayley was able to question what she was being told by health professionals, and press for an endoscopy to investigate further. The endoscopy revealed that Evan was suffering from a severe case of Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) an allergic / immune condition which causes inflammation or swelling of the oesophagus which is the tube that sends food from the mouth to the stomach.

A 2013 study by Redd & Schey reported that the prevalence of EoE is said to have increased significantly over the past few years, however, it is unclear whether the prevalence is actually increasing or if health professionals are just recognising it more often.

The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) outline that in EoE patients, large numbers of white blood cells called eosinophils are found in the tissue of the oesophagus, where there are normally none. EoE is said to occur at any age and most commonly occurs in Caucasian males.

Evan in hospital

Evan in hospital

The symptoms of EoE are said to vary with age:

  • Babies and toddlers may refuse food or not grow properly.
  • School-age children may suffer from recurring abdominal pain, vomiting or have trouble swallowing.
  • Teenagers and adults most often have difficulty swallowing. The oesophagus can narrow to the point that food gets stuck and is called food impaction which is a medical emergency.The 2013 study referred to earlier, provides details of treatments such as the six food elimination diet which is the treatment being tried by Hayley and Evan. The diet is based on removing those foods groups with the most allergenic potential, namely, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, nuts, and seafood. This diet is less restrictive than elemental / formula diets and does not require the in-depth allergy testing necessary in specific food elimination diets. Studies in adults have shown varied results, which are possibly associated with the degree of compliance to the diet itself. There is evidence from one study of 35 patients with EoE, which found that 74 % of the patients showed improvements both clinically and histologically.
Evan lost weight when he was first born

Evan lost weight when he was first born

I was in a similar position to Hayley before my son was diagnosed coeliac disease, and like Hayley I just knew that there was something wrong and wouldn’t give up. Evan is very lucky to have Hayley as his mum, our concern is that other children may not be so lucky and be suffering unnecessarily.

For me as a Nutrition and Health student this case highlights the importance of ongoing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and keeping up to date with new research findings.

Evan after his diagnosis

Evan now after his diagnosis of Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)

Both Hayley and I say to parents everywhere you know your babies better than anyone else, so follow your instincts.


More information on EoE can be found on the following websites: http://www.apfed.org/drupal/drupal/index.php



Redd, M. & Schey, R. (2013) Eosinophilic Esophagitis: Current Treatment, Digestive Diseases and Sciences<spacer.gif>58.3<spacer.gif>

Do look back!

This illustration pretty much sums up my last twelve months! It’s from my favourite birthday card drawn by my talented friend Rhian from Quack Animal Art, showing me with my head in a book studying for my degree, developing and health promotion to encourage students to eat more fruit and veg, and posing with my medal from my first ever Marathon.

Illustrated by Rhian from Quack Animal Art

Illustrated by Rhian from Quack Animal Art

Like lots of people I’m so busy getting on with clearing what’s on my ‘to do’ list, getting ready for a new challenge or planning what I’m going to do next, I forget to look back on all the great things that have happened and what I’ve achieved.

As part of our degree studies we are encouraged to reflect on our experiences and use what we have learned to shape what we do in the future.  This is really good advice as I sit here planning my final year dissertation. So, what have I learned in the last 12 months:

  • If I can train for a marathon, whilst working and studying I can do anything!
  • I love my subject area of ‘nutrition and health’ and am so happy that I decided to step out of my comfort zone and study for a degree at Edge Hill University
  • I’ve got a great support network, including lecturers, my boss, colleagues at work and lovely friends and family who encourage me and listen to my many and varied nutritional musings.
  • The health promotion ‘Nutri-juice‘ was a great opportunity to put my project management skills in to practice. It was a great feeling to see the initial idea come to life and winning the Edge Hill Student Enterprise Award, and my first trophy, will always make me smile. 
  • Don’t get overwhelmed when the pressure is on, just take small steps and don’t give up.

On a more personal note the sad loss of close friends and family members this year highlighted how precious life is and the importance of following your dreams. So my plan going forward is to continue to make the most of every day, be adventerous, and do what I enjoy.




Transition day

I am just finishing off my final assignment of the year, which is to develop a primary research proposal as part of the Understanding Research Module. The limit is 4,000 words and I’m up to 4,399 so the challenge is to cut it down but make sure the learning outcomes are met and the relevant points we have covered throughout the year are included. I’m planning to undertake primary research for my dissertation next year so this assignment is really going to give me a head start as it’s helping me to refine my ideas.

When I go back to University in September I’ll be in my final year and to prepare for this I attended a Transition Day for Health and Social Care students at Edge Hill.

I got a great deal out of the event and came away both excited and bit apprehensive about the challenges ahead. This is what we covered:

The day started with a warm welcome from our Programme lead (Hazel Flight) who stressed the importance of good time management, taking note of feedback, accessing support well in advance and turning up for lectures.

Dissertation preparation
Gill Brown & Lucy Gibson provided a good insight into preparing for our dissertation. Here are the key points:

  • It’s 8,000 words
  • Is an extended piece of research
  • It can either be a literature review or primary research
  • Start reading over the summer and come back in September with a firm idea for a research topic
  • Ask our dissertation supervisor for advice and guidance, making sure we have specific questions to ask to maximise the time available.

Ethics: Jeremy Brown talked about the importance of getting ethical approval before any research is undertaken and directed us to a few good websites including the British Education Research Association covering ethical guidelines for schools. http://www.bera.ac.uk/http://www.bera.ac.uk/

Level 6 writing: Iain Gannon delivered a presentation about level 6 writing and the importance of critical appraisal and good referencing.

After lunch Kevin O’hara, Nicci and Sue from West Lancs CVS talked passionately about the benefits of volunteering and the wide range of volunteering opportunities available. Sue provided information on Connect 4 Life an innovative community focused project, and the great work they do including developing personal profiles and circles of support. Nicci runs the Volunteer Centre recruiting organisations and volunteers and matching them up. She encouraged everyone to volunteer and talked enthusiastically about how it can help develop new skills and improve your CV. For more information on their work see: http://www.communityiwestlancs.org/


Personal and Career Development Module

Peter Leadbetter and Hazel outlined the module and gave details of the 20 day placements we need to do next year.

The Student Experience
We gained a real insight into year 3 from students who are about to graduate. They stressed the importance of reading and we were advised to do a plan in September and stick to it.

It was a really worthwhile event will definitely stand me in good stead for the new academic year.