A London Fire Brigade nutritionist has been recognised with a top accolade for his work to improve the healthy eating habits of firefighters.
Greg Lessons, who is the first ever dedicated nutritionist employed by a fire and rescue service, won ‘Nutritionist of the Year’ at the Caroline Walker Trust awards.
Greg was chosen from some tough competition, with leading nutritionists from around the country vying for the prize.
Greg, a firefighter for 17 years at Shoreditch, Leyton and most recently Hornchurch fire stations, began studying for a Masters in Nutrition at London Metropolitan University five years ago.
His dissertation focussed on firefighter nutrition and how firefighters could improve their health by eating better on duty. After graduating with a distinction, Greg was appointed as a full time nutritionist for London Fire Brigade and is now on a long term secondment.
He works with firefighters to develop personalised nutrition plans, helping them to make healthier food choices and also holds food preparation masterclasses with firefighters across the capital.
Greg said: “To be awarded the title of ‘Nutritionist of the year 2019’ is fantastic and I’m thrilled beyond belief! I was judged against four eminent UK nutritionists and I’m so proud to be chosen.
“It was also an honour to represent the Brigade and to raise the profile of nutrition, health and wellness in the workplace. A huge thanks goes to everyone who has supported me along the way.”
Greg explained more about his work as a nutritionist, he said: “Firefighters work extremely busy shifts and can be called out on a shout any second. For that reason, they tend to eat large portions and quickly. They also work anti-social hours and, like many other night workers, often want quick energy so their choice of snacks are often not the healthiest.”
Greg, who is now studying for a PhD, was up against leading nutritionists in his award category.
He continued: “We know firefighters need to be fit to do their job and eating the right diet is essential to achieve this. Also, nutrition can significantly impact mental health and be used as a valuable tool in reducing stress, anxiety and depression.”