Ahead of the HBC Health & Blogging summit, we caught up with Registered Harley Street Nutritionist, Rhiannon Lambert BSc MSc ANutr, to find out more about her view towards nutrition and the media. You can catch Rhiannon speaking on the editorial panel at the HBC Summit.
How did you first get interested in the study of nutrition?
As a professional soprano, the pressures of looking a certain way on stage and maintaining high energy levels had always been tricky. I also witnessed the destructive impact of disordered eating amongst other aspiring singers, an environment I felt very uncomfortable in. Having always been a foodie, it didn’t take long for me to realise nutrition would be my long-term career. Despite my lack of scientific knowledge, I endeavoured to learn from my own dietary mistakes and become as qualified as possible.
You have been featured in the international press many times (Men’s Health, BBC World, Daily Mail etc). How did you first get into this area?
About a year ago, I started to make a conscious effort on social media to correct any pseudo-science that was posted by various journalists. Frustratingly, much of the press obtain nutritional comment from celebrities and unqualified lifestyle bloggers who often wrongly advocate a type of food or, in some cases, dangerously prescribe a food or supplement to cure an ailment. I was providing links to scientific studies proving any fad or supposed trend wrong, and instead of debating them, journalists started to ask for me to contribute!
“Much of the press obtain nutritional comment from celebrities and unqualified lifestyle bloggers who often wrongly advocate a type of food”
How do you decide which publications to write for?
I consider each piece on a case-by-case basis, and always establish if any other individuals or companies are also involved. As a Registered Nutritionist, I have duty of care to ensure any nutritional advice is only ever evidence-based and that sensationalism at the expense of accuracy is minimised.
“I believe respect is earned by those who trust you, hence my unwavering stance on the importance of evidence-backed nutritional advice.”
What role has social media played in your success as a recognised and respected figure in nutrition?
Ultimately, without social media I would not be in the fortunate position I now find myself in, sharing qualified advice beyond my private clinic to the wider public. The likes of Twitter, Instagram and YouTube have encouraged professionals to become verified (work in progress) and in doing so, many have become recognised on the same platforms that have given rise to the very talented, yet unqualified, bloggers of this world. I believe respect is earned by those who trust you, hence my unwavering stance on the importance of evidence-backed nutritional advice.
How can readers know what to trust when it comes to nutritional advice shared in the media?
It’s so important to appreciate that each of us is deserving of unique nutritional advice. However, in the media I would only encourage advice to be taken on board if contributed by Registered Nutritionists and Dieticians. Any person or professional without a formal nutritional education of at least three years should be ignored. No vocational course will test and teach you the evidence-based biochemistry, immunology, physiology and psychology involved in undergraduate and postgraduate nutrition degrees accredited by The Association For Nutrition.
Is there a key figure in the health/nutrition industry you look up to and why?
It is widely accepted that The Association for Nutrition is the foremost figure in the industry. They are responsible for the registry of practicing Nutritionists and the accreditation of nutrition courses at universities in the UK.
What has your relationship with clients taught you about your profession?
Time and time again, my clients demonstrate exactly why nutrition cannot and should not be generalised.
What has your passion and success in music and singing taught you that can be applied to your current journey?
I believe good health can actually be considered similar to a talent. Perseverance can help you achieve it but only consistency will ensure you maintain it.
How would you advise someone wanting to become a nutritionist to get qualified?
I would follow a path accredited by The Association for Nutrition and never stop continuing your professional development.
For more information and to speak with Rhiannon, please visit Rhitrition.com and follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.