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Podcast / The Big Issues
Podcast / The Big Issues

Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on nutrition and our enjoyment of food

It sounds cliche, but COVID-19 has completely changed the way many of us think about nutrition, what we need to support our immune health, and the relationship we have with food. Combined with the one in 20 who’ve had COVID experiencing a prolonged loss of taste and smell due to the virus, it’s clear that the impact of COVID on nutrition and our enjoyment of food has been pronounced.

In this episode of the podcast we look back at two key discussions we’ve had in a series of podcasts focused on how nutrition and our enjoyment of food has been impacted by COVID. In a fascinating look at COVID-related loss of taste and smell we join Barry Smith, Professor, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of London to hear about the latest research on the phenomena, and what can be done to help those who are suffering because of it. Then we join Philip Calder, Professor of Nutritional Immunology and Head of School of Human Development and Health at the University of Southampton to discover what we now know about how nutrition can support our immune health for the future. Join the conversation on Table Talk.

About our guests

Philip Calder

Philip Calder is Professor of Nutritional Immunology and Head of School of Human Development and Health at the University of Southampton in the UK. He is currently President of ILSI Europe. Professor Calder is an internationally recognised researcher on the metabolism and functionality of fatty acids with an emphasis on the roles of omega-3 fatty acids in immunity, inflammation and cardiometabolic disease. He has also conducted recognised research on amino acids, antioxidants, prebiotics, probiotics and natural products. His research addresses both life course and translational considerations and includes research in cell and animal models and in healthy humans and patients. Professor Calder has published over 600 scientific articles (excluding abstracts) and according to Web of Science his work has been cited over 33,000 times.

He has a Web of Science h-index of 100, a Google Scholar h-index of 130 (i10 index 489) and has been included in every listing of Highly Cited Researchers. He has received many awards and prizes for his work including ESPEN’s Cuthbertson Lecture (2008), the Ralph Holman Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Oil Chemists’ Society (2015), the prestigious Danone International Prize for Nutrition (2016) and the DSM Lifetime Achievement Prize in Human Nutrition (2017). Professor Calder was President of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (2009-2012), Chair of the Scientific Committee of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) (2012-2016) and President of the Nutrition Society (2016-2019). He is currently President of the Federation of European Nutrition Societies. He was Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Nutrition (2006 to 2013) and is currently Associate Editor of Clinical Science and Journal of Nutrition.

He previously served on many Editorial Boards of journals in the nutrition, lipidology and biochemistry fields. Professor Calder has a long association with ILSI Europe having served on its Scientific Advisory Committee, as Scientific Co-Chair of one of its Task Forces, and as a member (including Chairing) several Expert Groups.

Barry Smith

Barry C Smith is a professor of philosophy and director of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, as well as the founding director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses, which pioneers collaborative research between philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists. He is also the UK lead in the study of the long term impact of the loss of taste and smell in Covid-19 sufferers.

He has held visiting professorships at the University of California at Berkeley and the Ecole Normale Superiéure in Paris, and in 2012 he was appointed as the AHRC Leadership Fellow for the Science in Culture Theme, as well as Pro-Dean for new academic initiatives at the School of Advanced Study.

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