18 Sep 2023
Should we be reaching for the dinner plate before the pill bottle when treating mental illness? Well my next guests certainly think so. Dr Michael Dixon and Dr Uma Naidoo are back on the podcast talking about the Food for Mood campaign, an idea that literally started around the King’s dining table last year!
This idea of food as medicine is truly taking shape in the UK, but without strategies to ensure people can actually attain a level of nutrition to unlock these potential benefits, we’re simply reverberating ideas in an ineffective echo chamber. Michael and Uma are taking up the challenge, and launching the ‘Food for Mood’ campaign that engages multiple stake holders including government, supermarkets and of course, medical professionals and promotes the idea and practical strategies to introduce nutritional psychiatry at scale.
This is a great discussion about the challeneges of bringing fresh nutrient rich ingredients to the masses, changing our supermarket landscape and the way in which we practice preventative medicine.
Dr. Uma Naidoo is a Harvard trained psychiatrist, professional chef and a trained Nutrition Specialist and her nexus of interests have found their niche in Nutritional Psychiatry. She is also the national bestselling author of This Is Your Brain On Food.
Dr Michael Dixon is chairman of the college of medicine, he’s been a general practitioner at College Surgery in Devon for over 35 years. Since the early 1990s, he has been a leader of the GP/clinical commissioning movement with its aim of allowing frontline clinicians a far greater role in improving local services and health. Michael is a Visiting Professor at Westminster University and Head of the Royal Medical Household
You can download The Doctor’s Kitchen app for free to get access to all of our recipes, with specific suggestions tailored to your health needs and new recipes added every month. We’ve had some amazing feedback so far and we have new features being added all the time - check it out with a 14 day free trial too.
Do check out this week’s “Eat, Listen, Read” newsletter, that you can subscribe to on our website - where I send you a recipe to cook as well as some mindfully curated media to help you have a healthier, happier week.
🐦 Tweet me
We would love to get your feedback on the subject matter of these episodes - please do let me know on our social media pages (Instagram, Facebook & Twitter) what you think, and give us a 5* rating on your podcast player if you enjoyed today’s episode.
Dr Michael Dixon
Michael Dixon graduated in psychology and philosophy at Oxford University before studying medicine at Guy’s Hospital. Since 1984 he has been a general practitioner at College Surgery in Cullompton, Devon. In 2008, he and his partners created the “Culm Valley Integrated Centre for Health”, which is widely regarded as a prototype for general practice of the future.
Since the early 1990s, he has been a leader of the GP/clinical commissioning movement with its aim of allowing frontline clinicians a far greater role in improving local services and health. He co-founded one of the first Locality Commissioning Groups in Mid Devon in 1993 and served on the National Executive of the National Association of GPs before becoming the first chair of its successor organisation, the NHS Alliance, in 1998. He has continued in this role, by annual election, to the present day. In 2012, clinical commissioning was fully embedded in statute with the creation of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). A new organisation, NHS Clinical Commissioners” was created to represent CCGs bringing together the commissioning “arms” of NHS Alliance, NHS Confederation and the National Association of Primary Care. Michael is the acting president of this new organisation.
Recent national roles have included:- chair of the National LifeCheck Board, special advisor on Practice Based Commissioning to Lord Darzi and sitting on the steering group of the King’s Fund Enquiry into the future of general practice. Today, he is a member of the National Stakeholder Forum, sits on the National Steering Group and the National Strategy Group for Clinical Commissioning. He is also a member of the NHS Sustainable Development Unit National Advisory Group.
Michael is a Visiting Professor at Westminster University and Head of the Royal Medical Household. He is an honorary senior fellow in Public Policy at HSMC (University of Birmingham) and honorary senior lecturer in Integrated Health at the Peninsula Medical School. He is a regular writer and broadcaster, having written several books including “The Human Effect in Medicine” and is a former president of the Health Writers Guild.
Throughout he has been strongly supported by his wife Joanna, a professional artist, and they have three children. He is a keen gardener and fisherman, when time permits.
Dr Uma Naidoo
Michelin-starred chef David Bouley described Dr. Uma Naidoo as the world’s first “triple threat” in the food and medicine space: a Harvard trained psychiatrist, professional chef graduating with her culinary schools’ most coveted award, and a trained Nutrition Specialist. Her nexus of interests have found their niche in Nutritional Psychiatry.
Dr. Naidoo founded and directs the first hospital-based Nutritional Psychiatry Service in the United States. She is the Director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) & Director of Nutritional Psychiatry at MGH Academy while serving on the faculty at Harvard Medical School.
She was considered Harvard’s Mood Food expert and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal.
Dr. Naidoo is also the national bestselling author of This Is Your Brain On Food.
In her book, she shows the cutting-edge science explaining the ways in which food contributes to our mental health and how a diet can help treat and prevent a wide range of psychological and cognitive health issues, from ADHD to anxiety, depression, OCD, and others.