About this event

  • Date and time Tue 9 Oct 2018 from 8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Psychiatry, Food and Health

Increasing attention has been given to the effects of diet and weight on mental health and psychological wellbeing, but what is the evidence and how can we take this into account in our clinical activity?

In this one-day event, international experts in this field will explain the effects of long-term overweight and underweight on mental health and how diet and the gut can affect our brain cells.

In the second part of the day, we will address the evidence of the benefit of possible dietary changes and dietary supplements for improving mental health and psychological wellbeing.

Topics include:

  • Chronic overweight and underweight on mental health
  • The effects of diet and of gut function on the brain
  • The effects of dietary changes and dietetic supplements to improve mental health and psychological wellbeing

Key speakers

Professor Tim Spector

Head of Department at King’s College London, UK, author of The diet myth

Speaker's biography

Head of Department at King’s College London, UK, author of The diet myth

Professor Tim Spector is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Director of the TwinsUK Registry at Kings College, London. Professor Spector has published over 800 research articles and is ranked as being in the top 1% of the world’s most published scientists by Reuters. He held a prestigious European Research Council senior investigator award in epigenetics and is a NIHR Senior Investigator.

His current work focuses on omics and the microbiome and directs the crowdfunded British Gut microbiome project.

Professor Felice Jacka

Professor of Nutritional and Epidemiological Psychiatry at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

Speaker's biography

Professor Jacka is Director of the Food and Mood Centre and founder and president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR). Professor Jacka has pioneered a highly innovative program of research that examines how individuals’ diets, and other lifestyle behaviours, interact with the risk for mental health problems. This research is being carried out with the ultimate goal of developing an evidence-based public health message for the primary prevention of the common mental disorders.

Professor Jakca has published extensively in high-impact journals in the mental health field including the American Journal of Psychiatry, World Psychiatry, BMC Medicine, Schizophrenia Bulletin and Lancet Psychiatry. 

Rachel Kelly

Author of The Happy Kitchen

Speaker's biography

Rachel was diagnosed with serious depression and subsequently suffered two major depressive episodes. These two episodes have become the defining events of her life. Since then, she has written about the condition, and how she has recovered, in books that have been read by tens of thousands of people. 

Rachel speaks publicly about her experience of depression and recovery, and regularly writes for press and gives TV and radio interviews to help educate and break down the stigma around mental health. She also runs workshops for mental health organisations, companies, charities and universities to share what she has learnt about how to stay calm and well. She is an official ambassador for Rethink Mental Illness, Young Minds, Sane and The Counselling Foundation.


View the programme

Keynote lecture

Registration, tea and coffee
Welcome and introduction

Dr Valeria Mondelli, President, Psychiatry Section, Royal Society of Medicine

Keynote lecture: The diet myth

Professor Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Director of the TwinsUK Registry, King’s College London

The effects of weight on our mental health

Dr Leigh Gibson, Reader in Biopsychology, University of Roehampton

How overweight and obesity affect mental health

Dr Samantha Scholtz, Consultant Psychiatrist, West London Mental Health Trust

Illness stages and their impact on brain, body and behaviour in anorexia nervosa

Professor Ulrike Schmidt, Professor of Eating Disorders, King’s College London

Questions and answers
Tea and coffee break

The effects of diet and gut on our brain

Mr Anthony Mander, Past President, Food & Health Forum, Royal Society of Medicine

When the gut plays games with your brain: Moving the goalposts in psychiatry?

Dr Gerard Clarke, Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioural Science, University College Cork, Ireland

What happens to our neurons when we change diet

Dr Patricia Zunszain, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London

Questions and answers

Dietary changes and supplement to help mental health

Dr Valeria Mondelli

Personalised medicine in mental health with omega-3 fatty acids

Dr Jane Chang, Consultant Psychiatrist, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan and PhD Candidate, King's College London

Can prebiotics help our mental health?

Dr Philip Burnet, Associate Professor, Psychiatry Department, University of Oxford

Healthy dietary indices and risk of depression

Dr Camille Lassale, Research Associate, University College London

Questions and answers
Tea and coffee break

Round table discussion

Dr Mark Williamson, Co-founder and Director, Action for Happiness

The happy kitchen and good mood food
Rachel Kelly

Writer, Mental Health Campaigner and Public Speaker

Miss Alice Mackintosh

Registered Nutritional Therapist, London

Dr Camille Lassale
Closing remarks
Close of meeting


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom