Eastman Dental Institute


Nutrition, Oral Health and Performance Symposium

1 August 2017


Our Centre for Oral Health and Performance recently held the first ever symposium bringing together world experts in sport nutrition, eating disorders and oral health to discuss how to maximise performance and minimise health impacts in elite sport.

Over 60 delegates attended the provocative event which addressed:

  • the state of the art and science and future of Sport Nutrition (Mike Naylor, Head of Sport Nutrition, English Institute of Sport, Prof. Ron Maughan, St Andrew’s University / IOC and Dr Dan Kings, Head of Sports Nutrition Aspetar, Qatar);
  • the impact of elite sport on oral health on performance and wellbeing (Prof. Ian Needleman*, Dr Paul Ashley* and Dr Julie Gallagher, UCL Eastman);
  • the effect of relative energy deficiency and eating disorders on athlete performance and health (Dr Katarina Melin, University of Copenhagen).

They were joined to debate the issues by Georgie Bruinvels, a UCL graduate researcher on the health of female athletes and blogger Tom Fairbrother who fights to raise awareness of eating disorders in athletes.

Focus groups fed into the symposium with clear messages about the importance of awareness and information about how to use sport nutrition to enhance health and performance in the general population.

The symposium finalised a consensus paper which will be used to share the messages outside of the meeting.

The symposium was a collaboration between UCL Eastman, the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) and the UCL Institute of Sport Exercise and Health (ISEH) as members of the UK IOC Research Centre for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health with support and sponsorship from GlaxoSmithKline and the British Dental Journal.

* Professor Needleman and Dr Paul Ashley are PhD Supervisors; they are currently recruiting for a new PhD looking at the natural history of the dental pellicle and its relationship to dental erosion in elite sport. Find out more