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Ulster Professor Delivers British Nutrition Foundation Annual Lecture

26 November 2013

Professor Sean Strain

A leading University of Ulster scientist has delivered this year’s prestigious British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) Annual Lecture.

Professor Sean Strain, Professor of Human Nutrition and Director of the Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE) at Ulster, presented the lecture at the BNF's Annual Day, which was held at the Royal College of Physicians, in the presence of Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal.

Entitled ‘Eating Fish for Two’, the presentation highlighted the international research being conducted by NICHE in the Republic of Seychelles and the impact it has had globally in terms of influencing nutrition policy.

The study, which has been carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Health in the Seychelles and the University of Rochester, United States, investigates the risk benefits of fish consumption during pregnancy.

Professor Strain believes that the research projects led by him and other colleagues within NICHE are helping to influence health policies at home and abroad.

“We found that the benefits of eating more fish during pregnancy outweigh any risk to a child’s development through increased mercury exposure and this new information has led to dietary advice for pregnant women in some countries being reviewed,” he said.

An internationally respected nutrition scientist, Professor Strain was President of the Nutrition Society from 2010 to 2013, the largest learned society for nutrition in Europe.

He is currently Vice-Chair of the European Food Safety Panel (EFSA) - the keystone of European Union (EU) risk assessment regarding food and feed safety - and Chair of the Working Group on Health Claims.

Professor Strain was also the winner of the coveted annual BNF Prize 2012, which was presented in recognition of his leadership and research of outstanding merit related to human nutrition, food and health.