Feedback with Melissa – Week 3 – Mar 2019 – Food as Medicine

MELISSA ADAMSKI: Hi, everyone,
and welcome to our feedback video for week three
of Food as Medicine. It’s been a great week, a lot of
discussion happening around how to put into practise a lot of
the information we learn about nutrition and food and health. So keep those
discussions coming. It’s really good to read
what you’re all talking about and debating, because that’s
how we really learn information. So one of the topics that people
were interested in this week has been why nutrition science
keeps changing in the video by Simone. And it certainly is a
challenging and frustrating area for many people, because
sometimes you think you know a bit of information,
then all of a sudden, you hear in the media
that it’s changed. And the comment that I’d just
like to make on that is we need to remember that nutrition
and food are both sciences. So they’re science is just
like medicine, like physics, like biology. And it’s not static. So we haven’t
learned everything. And we will continue to
learn things as research gets conducted, just like in
physics and other sciences. And so we will continue to make
changes and recommendations as we discover new areas
around food and nutrition. I think what’s most
frustrating, though, is where in the past when
information wasn’t necessarily so freely available, many
people didn’t hear about a lot of studies and recent evidence
until it was more certified or it was more replicated. And so we had more of an
idea that it was definitely something that was happening,
whereas now the media reports on single studies or snippets of
information that have just come out before we have time to
evaluate it and to understand whether it gets put into an
overall recommendation or not. So I think that’s the difference
in why we see this frustration happening, because we seem to
be bombarded from all different directions about
different messages. But embrace the nutrition
science changing, because it means we’re learning. And hopefully, we’ll continue to
learn so we know more about how food can be used as medicine
and how food can be used for our health. Another area that people
were very interested in was the different dietary and
food guidelines from different countries around the world. And I always find it fascinating
looking through the United Nations list there from the Food
and Agriculture Organisation of all the different countries
and how they display their food guides and their
dietary guidelines. A number of you have made
the observation, though, that they’re very
similar across countries. Yes, they have a
cultural perspective. So the foods listed in there
may be different depending on the different
cultures and country. However, most of the
recommendations are very similar. And that’s because they do draw
upon the same evidence pool of research from
around the world. And they all have critiqued that
separately and basically all came up with the same
interpretations and the same answers. So that’s why they look
very similar at this stage, because they’re all pooling from
the same studies and research. So don’t forget if you hadn’t
had a chance to look at that, have a look at your own country. We’ve listed a few there just
to help you pull a couple of interesting ones out and
ones from different areas around the world. But have a look at your country
specifically and see what it says. Now a couple of the guides that
people have mentioned are that some are really detailed
and others quite pictorial, so it’s just an image
around what to eat each day. And I just want to draw you to
the fact that the ones that are really long, 100
pages or so long, most countries will have
that evidence document there. So that’s usually the evidence
document that will underpin any simple dietary guidelines or
pictorial food guidelines. It’s just not every country
will develop say a pyramid or a wheel or a picture
around what to take in. So we’ve put a mixture in there. So you can have a look at
different ways that different countries do it. So don’t forget as I said to
have a look at your country there. The ones that I really like are
not the ones that focus just on nutrition but also ones
that focus on the cultural and social aspects of eating
as well and encourage people to eat with others
where they can, and also think about eating
seasonally and eating culturally as well. So it’s not just
about nutrition. There’s many other factors
of eating as well that are important. So we’ve had a couple of
questions from learners as this week as well, which
has been fantastic. And one of them was around
allergies and around do we have any specific advice around
allergies while also listing some foods in which they
thought a family member may have a reaction to. And allergies are such a
large and complex area, driven by multiple factors. So I won’t comment
specifically on that. But what I do want to point out
is that there is a difference between an allergy
and an intolerance. So one is driven by an immune
response, which is an allergy. And usually, you see reactions
immediately after someone has touched or eaten a food, whereas
an intolerance isn’t driven by the immune system there. And it can be driven by
many different factors. And the difference there is that
you usually see symptoms appear hours later, sometimes even
a day or two later as well. So if you are wondering about
whether foods are causing any symptoms in a family
member or with yourself, it is important to
seek medical advice. And it is important to
understand whether its an allergy or intolerance,
because there are different treatments. And there can be different
consequences as well when you eat the foods too. Some of them for an allergy,
can be quite serious, such as anaphylaxis,
whereas intolerance, there can be other
general things, such as your
gastrointestinal symptoms, sometimes skin reactions,
migraines, et cetera. So there is a
spectrum of symptoms. So it is important to understand
the difference between the two. Another issue and question that
somebody raised was the context of sustainability being built
into food recommendations. And they feel that it’s
something that hasn’t fully been mentioned yet. And it is something that we
haven’t added to the course at this stage, but it is
something we might consider in the future adding in, because
sustainability of food sources is very important, and it is
certainly very topical around the world at the moment. And so I’ll leave one idea
for you to have a look at. So recently over the
last month or two, a new recommendation was
released by the EAT-Lancet Commission, which did release
their ideal diet in regards to nutrient intake and
what’s optimal there, but also what’s optimal for
the planet and sustainability. And it’s caused quite a
buzz around the world. And I think it’s great
if you all read it. And so you can join in
that debate as well, because some of the
recommendations are quite different to what we have now
in terms of protein and animal product intake. And it does advocate for a
more plant-based diet approach, which is great. We should all be eating
more plant-based foods. But some people have
questioned some of the actual recommendations
released in that report. So as I said, I
recommend you look it up, the EAT-Lancet
Commission report, and join the debate
for yourself, and have a bit of a think
about what they’re recommending and what the evidence is
behind their recommendations. And then finally what we had
in the course as well was an activity for you, which
we had at the very beginning of week three and also asked you
to repeat it at the end of week three after you’d worked through
some of the information there. And what it was is for you
to indicate which diets out of the list we provided you
think have the most evidence behind it. And get you to actually
go and look them up. So there were a lot of
people commenting that they didn’t know some of the
diets that were listed there. And these are just random
diets that we have picked. They’re not diets that we
are promoting or endorsing or suggesting at all. They’re just common ones that
have been found throughout the media in the
last couple of years. But the point was for you to
actually go and look them up if you haven’t seen them, and
assess what sort of evidence you come across or what sort
of information you come across, and to critically analyse it
and then discuss with the group what you think about that diet
and whether they’re evidence based. And also for you to say whether
your response has changed from the first activity that you did
at the beginning of week three to the end of week three, and
getting you to do the activity again down there. So it’d be great if you
could comment on whether your response changed or
whether it stayed the same. But what is very interesting in
this run of the course and all runs of the courses that we’ve
done over the last few years is that the Mediterranean diet
seems to come out on top. So a lot of people have
heard about that diet. And, obviously, heard that
there is some evidence behind it in terms of health benefits
and health properties. But just like any
other dietary pattern, we do need to continue
to evaluate it. And we must remember that not
all Mediterranean diets are the same. The Mediterranean diet
as it is now is different to the Mediterranean diet that
may have been around say 50, 100 or so years ago as well. So there isn’t just
one definition of it. And we need to look at
the different components of a Mediterranean style diet
and understand how and if they do confer health benefits. But at this stage it does seem
to be some research confirming that there are preventative
health benefits. So that’s it for me for this
feedback video for the end of week 3. It’s been great having you all
with us throughout the three weeks. And we hope that you’ve learned
a lot and enjoyed working through the information. We really love feedback. So please provide us
with feedback at the end of the course. There is a step there in step
3.23 for you to provide any feedback. And also if you’ve
enjoyed the course, please tell your friends or
your family about it if you feel that they could benefit or would
be interested in learning more information about nutrition
and health and more importantly food as medicine there. And also remember when we’re
talking about food as medicine too, we need to think
about that definition. So taking it right back to
the beginning of the course and our course philosophy,
it’s not just about necessarily using plants from a more
medicinal perspective, around herbs and then it having
a more medicinal or pharmaco effect. We’re taking the angle of whole
dietary patterns and how they may affect different areas
of the body and also with preventative health as well. So that’s our take on food
as medicine at this stage. Obviously, there are many other
ways that we can look at it too. So as I said, tell your
friends and family. You can also rate us on
MOOC rating sites as well If you’d like to provide
feedback there too. And also, we’re running the
course twice again this year, in July and in November. So there will be chances for
other people to join up if they would like it. So that’s it for me. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and
I’ve certainly enjoyed having you with me learning
through the three weeks. And you still have access to the
information for a couple more weeks if you haven’t upgraded. Great. Thanks, everyone. And I’ll see you later. Bye.

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