About this event

  • Date and time Wed 8 Jun 2022 from 9:00am to 4:30pm
  • Location Online
  • Organised by Food and Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Maternity and the Newborn Forum

This webinar seeks to recognise that the most profound effect on lifetime health is the nutrition and lifestyle of the parents in the weeks before conception and raise awareness of the acute need for support in deprived areas.

Participants will understand the scale of mental and physical ill-health that springs from lack of preconception education and care, particularly in nutrition, and the knowledge needed to be applied for family, social, and economic benefit that can contribute to peace, security and equality.

The insights and knowledge will be vital to professional practice and teaching in health and education as well as for political understanding towards generating a healthy population.

After this session, preconception care, successful so far against neural tube disorders will be recognised as the powerful means to reduce a wider range of hugely more prevalent disorders, including congenital heart disorders, obesity, diabetes as well as brain disorders, including autism and special educational needs. Speakers will also highlight that the success of preconception care against infertility as well as congenital defects can reduce the requirement for artificial reproductive technology with its raised risks, as well as increase its rate of success.

During this session, participants will be able to:

  • Appreciate how preconception nutrition has succeeded in randomized controlled trials against the neural tube, cardiovascular, and other defects
  • See cutting-edge findings of preconception maternal nutrients on specific regions of the brain
  • Comprehend the huge prevalences and economic costs of developmental physical and mental disorders
  • Gain preconception health knowledge for medical, health, and teaching professions, politics and government
  • Understand why children need educating in conception while they have time to learn and to optimise their nutrition and health

A uniquely detailed presentation of the radical way to arrest the escalation of mental disorders and falling IQ reducing the current prevalence of congenital and non-communicable disorders will be discussed.

The only way to attain genetic and epigenetic human potential in conditions as varied as today’s is by attending well before conception to parental lifestyle, particularly nutrition while reviewing the transgenerational effects of changing conditions on our evolutionary path. Now more than ever, in the face of viral pandemics and climate change, generating robust human health with minimal inequities is paramount.

A CPD certificate with CPD credit will be issued to those joining the webinar live as well as those who watch the recording afterwards. Certificates will be issued 7 days after the webinar to those who watch it live and after 30 days for those that watch the recording.

This webinar is available for on-demand viewing. The webinar recording will be available for registered delegates up to 60 days after the live webinar broadcast via Zoom. The link will be sent 24 hours after the webinar takes place. 

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Key speakers

Dr John Nichols

Visiting Research Fellow, Surrey University

Professor Mark Hanson

Professor of Cardiovascular Science, Southampton University

Professor Michael Crawford

Director, Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition

Professor Sumantra Ray

Nutritionist, Global Centre for Nutrition and Health


View the programme

Welcome and introduction

Dr Leigh Gibson, President, Food and Health Section, Royal Society of Medicine and Reader in Biopsychology, University of Roehampton

Session one

Chaired by: Dr Tatiana Christides, Senior Lecturer Medical Sciences, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University London

Preconception in perspective: Personal, familial, social and economic

Reverend Simon House, Author, Mother and Child Foundation

Maternal lipid nutrition preconception is a critical determinant for neurodevelopment

Professor Michael Crawford, Director, Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition

Panel discussion
Comfort break
Dietary change outpacing evolution – and medicine?

Dr John Nichols, Visiting Research Fellow, Surrey University

Promoting preconception health – challenges and opportunities

Professor Mark Hanson, Professor of Cardiovascular Science, Southampton University

Panel discussion

Session two

Chaired by: Dr John Nichols

Implications for preterm neonatal health of low levels of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and high lipid peroxidation in donor human milk in the United Kingdom

Dr Simon Dyall, Senior Lecturer, University of Roehampton

Underprivileged, marginalised and neglected populations

Professor Sumantra Ray, Nutritionist, Global Centre for Nutrition and Health

Comfort break
Engaging with preconception health in the UK

Professor Judith Stephenson, Margaret Pyke Professor of Sexual and Reproductive Health, University College London

Panel discussion
Closing remarks

Dr Leigh Gibson

Close of meeting



Registration for this webinar will close 2 hours prior to the start time. You will receive the webinar link 2 hours before the meeting. Late registrations will not be accepted.  


  • The agenda is subject to change at any time
  • If the event is recorded, we are only able to share presentations that we have received permission to share. There is no guarantee that all sessions will be available after the event, this is at the presenter’s and RSM discretion.
  • All views expressed at this event are of the speakers themselves and not of the Royal Society of Medicine, nor the speaker's organisations.
  • This event will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels.



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