Nutritank CIC was founded by two current medical students Ally Jaffee and Iain Broadley who believed that nutrition and lifestyle medicine education in medical training was not adequate. They believed that they had a responsibility to their generation and future generations of doctors to make a change and that young people are in the ideal position to make that difference.
By working with medical schools, nutrition and dietetic organisations around the UK, Nutritank has evolved into an innovative information hub of food, nutrition and lifestyle medicine.
Originating at Bristol Medical School in 2017, Nutritank has achieved a growing momentum across the UK, from setting up over 15 Nutritank society branches at medical schools, to online and social media engagement and the curation of key projects on a local and national scale.
Nutritank’s university-based societies aim to promote the need for greater nutrition and lifestyle medicine training within medical education.
Nutritank’s team are part of an inter-professional working group tasked by the General Medical Council (GMC) to ensure more nutrition education is integrated within UK undergraduate medical school curricula.
In 2019, Nutritank formally formed a coalition with the organisations NNEdPro and Culinary Medicine UK who share the belief in promoting greater nutrition and lifestyle medicine in medical education.
Nutritank’s online hub aims to further promote the message of nutrition and lifestyle medicine in medical education not only to healthcare professionals and students, but also to interested members of the public.
Before attending Bristol, Iain obtained a first-class degree in biomedical science from Sussex University and published two research papers on cytomegalovirus’s role in cardiovascular disease. At Sussex, Iain was taught by academics from the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU). This has greatly influenced his thinking towards the importance of multi-stakeholder involvement in bringing about systemic changes. During this time, Iain began to explore and research the importance of nutrition and lifestyle in health through developing a business start-up idea related to food, reaching the finals of an innovation accelerator programme.
Iain co-founded Nutritank in 2017 alongside fellow Bristol medical student Ally Jaffee. Nutritank was founded with the aim of promoting the need for greater nutrition and lifestyle medicine education at medical schools and in other healthcare settings. Nutritank societies are a point of access for medical students to gain more of this type of education through expert speakers and workshops. Nutritank’s network has grown rapidly, in just under 18 months, there are now over 20+ societies at medical schools across the U.K.
Over the past two years, Iain has dedicated himself to raising awareness of this need within medical education. He appeared alongside Jamie Oliver in explaining the problem on Channel 4’s ‘Jamie’s and Jimmie’s Friday Night Feast’ (aired 28th December 2018). After this show, Iain and the Nutritank team helped to launch the #nutrition4medics campaign. This was instrumental in adding a clause to the NHS Long-term Plan on a commitment to increasing nutrition education for healthcare professionals.
One of Iain’s roles within Nutritank is implementing change on various platforms including; membership of the Association for Nutrition’s inter-professional working group tasked by the General Medical Council to implement curriculum changes for U.K. medical schools. He is also a non-executive on the global innovation panel for NNEdPro’s Global Centre for Nutrition and Health.
Throughout the past year, Iain has helped Bristol medical school in developing and delivering educational workshops for whole year cohorts. He has also designed small scale lifestyle medicine workshops with standardised exam style questions, delivered to medical students within the Nutritank network by experts in the field. This has been carried out through close collaboration with organisations such as NNEdPro and Culinary Medicine.
Iain enjoys spending time outside - mountain walking, climbing and competing in triathlons. He is always appreciative of the time he gets to spend with loved ones through cooking and eating food altogether.
Intrigued by the relationship between diet, health and disease, from the onset of medical school, Ally has seized research opportunities within this area. Her preclinical projects include: a case-study looking at nutrition and cooking to improve physical health and wellbeing, a research project on the intersection between the microbiome, obesity and mental health (awarded 91%), and a project around the role of nutrition and cooking as an intervention in the management of chronic conditions in an 'Optimum Health in Later Life’ module. Furthermore, she completed a clinical case-study project entitled ‘The Impact of adhering to diet and lifestyle modifications in management of glycaemic control in patients with Type 2 Diabetes.’
Ally was a student volunteer at the College of Medicine's “Food, the Forgotten Medicine” conference. From winning a College of Medicine student innovation competition, she was awarded a place at Abvie’s Sustainable Healthcare Conference at the King’s Fund. Thereafter she was appointed the College of Medicine’s National Student Nutrition Lead. At the next College of Medicine’s “Food the Forgotten Medicine” conference at the Royal Society of Medicine, she spoke about her work with nutrition education.
Recognizing that many medical students were not receiving sufficient teaching on the importance of nutrition in preventing and managing chronic conditions, Ally co-created a Nutrition in Medicine interest group in Bristol. This served to meet other like-minded medics, where she met Iain Broadley, who became her "Nutritank" co-founder. Nutritank is an innovation and information hub for food, nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine. Nutritank has a strong online presence and is franchised in 20+ medical schools. Ally and Iain have been invited to speak at several conferences such as Dr Hazel Wallace’s (aka TheFoodMedic). Last year, they co-led a national undergraduate Sustainable Lifestyle Medicine Conference at UCL with College of Medicine.
They featured on BBC radio’s The Food Programme, Women’s Health articles and on Jamie Oliver’s Channel 4 programme, “Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast”, promoting their work around nutrition education. Subsequently, partnering with Jamie Oliver in the #nutrition4medics National Campaign.
Furthermore, they have partnered with the Cambridge Think-Tank NNEDPRO (Need for Nutrition Education Programme) and Dr Rupy Aujla’s organisation Culinary Medicine. They have helped facilitate change around nutrition education within Bristol’s new medical curricula. Ally helped enable Dr Aujla to pilot his culinary medicine course as a student selected module in Bristol, in which Ally, Iain and others participated. On a national level, they sit within the Association for Nutrition’s (AFN) inter-professional working group, tasked by the GMC to increase nutrition education within undergraduate medical curricula.
For 2 years running Ally and Iain have been awarded funding via Bristol University’s New Enterprise Competition. Recently they received a grant to assist them with the next year's costs of running Nutritank.
She is also keen on promoting these in her own life by doing yoga, gym and netball in her free time along with a balanced healthy diet, hopefully being able to help others along in her future clinical practice!
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What they've said about us
Hear what Nutritank members have to say:
“Please get the message out to nurses too. I worked as a Health Visitor and tried unsuccessfully over the years to engage the Community Trust with regard to healthy eating and the problem of obesity in staff.”Paddy JelenNurse
“great idea- get people eating more real food. ' mostly plants, not too much.”Mark CraigDoctor
“Fantastic, please role out to dentists too. Desperately needed change of approach to healthcare.”Becky JonesDentist
“Great people doing great work!!”Simone JaffeePublic Member