Whilst there is much focus on applying resources to the generation of evidence from human nutrition research, whether these involve experiment, observation or intervention, there is considerably little investment in development and evaluation of effective approaches to apply the available knowledge base. Furthermore, when translating nutrition knowledge to the population at large, there are barriers to implementation, retention, and sustained impact, often due to largely unregulated public information on nutrition causing significant confusion and conflict. Healthcare professionals therefore have a key role in becoming reliable knowledge brokers translating nutrition science to clinical or public health practice. However, with the exception of dietitians, who are relatively few in number, other segments of the healthcare workforce receive little or relatively inconsistent training in practice-ready aspects of nutrition.
Over the past decade, the NNEdPro Global Centre in Cambridge (www.nnedpro.org.uk) has been working as a partnership between doctors, dietitians, nutritionists and others, both within and across borders to assess practice gaps affecting patients and the public. This is typically followed by taking a step back to look at the available nutrition evidence base – where this is adequate but can benefit from better evidence synthesis for education versus where there is a need for further primary research to strengthen the evidence base – and then taking a step forward to develop, deliver, and evaluate the impact of bespoke nutrition education interventions on the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the healthcare workforce. Whilst focusing on the nutrition education of healthcare professionals, the NNEdPro lean-innovation approach spans over 40 projects and initiatives in over 12 countries using the Knowledge-to-Action Cycle as a framework to ignite the implementation potential of high quality research to pro- mote best practice.