Food expert to hold talk on healthy eating

Food expert Dr Nazanin Zand is taking her healthy eating message into the community with a talk to parents and young people in Kent.

Dr Zand, a Senior Lecturer in Food Science & Nutrition at the University of Greenwich’s Medway Campus, will be giving a talk at the New Line Learning Academy in Maidstone. It takes place at 6pm on Wednesday 15 January and all are welcome.

A champion of the benefits of a good diet and healthy lifestyle for both adults and children, Dr Zand says that she is “passionate” about spreading the word to as many young people as possible. “I guess that what I want most is for young people to flourish, and to get the most out of life, and to do that they need to make healthy eating choices,” she says.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that the subject is my life’s work, but it is vital for me to move beyond the lecture theatre, or the research lab, and take the message on the road, throughout the county and beyond. I’m excited about engaging with people of all ages along the way and hearing their views too.”

Her research shows that children who are overweight at an early age are likely to continue to be overweight throughout their lives, which brings increased risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, and heart problems in later life.

Dr Zand, who hopes to follow up the talk in Maidstone with visits to other schools and academies, spent a decade working in the food industry before joining the university’s School of Science. Much of her work in recent years has focused on investigating the nutritional value of baby foods. Last year she gained widespread national and international media coverage for her research showing that shop-bought baby meals lacked some of the vital nutrients essential for proper growth and protection against illness.

“The government has focused on the importance of breast feeding and healthy school meals, but they have neglected the age group in between,” she adds.

She is also an elected member of the Institute of Food Science & Technology, and an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Pharmacy & Nutrition.

Richard Jenkins, Community Director for Future Schools Trust, has helped to organise the event. He says: “Children’s nutrition is rightly being put at the top of important agendas. If we get this right for our children it not only helps them now, but sets a good foundation for the rest of their lives through the ongoing health benefits it brings.”