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Some thoughts on the passing of Professor George Patton


Myself and colleagues at ENN are deeply saddened at the passing of Professor George Patton1.

George really had a very special mind and a generous nature which combined to make him a fireball in the field of adolescent nutrition. I recently worked very closely with him on an opinion piece about measuring nutritional status in adolescents and colleagues at ENN worked with him on the recent Lancet Adolescent Nutrition Series2.

He was very influential in the world of adolescent nutrition, and after having worked closely with him, I could see why. He had a very unique way of thinking and had a way of understanding and communicating evidence that was incredibly effective and was not shackled by the norms of usual research communications. It was just a few months ago that he was hammering on at me about ‘indicator constructs’! Something I had never considered before but came to realise were incredibly important to our work. He was also a huge advocate for youth engagement3 and his immediate legacy is the progressive work that is still going on for the Lancet series as we speak. 

Not only was he very good at progressing this neglected topic, but he was also very kind and generous with his expertise. He seemed to always find time to provide guidance to developing researchers like myself, and was incredibly insightful and encouraging of ENN’s work on adolescent nutrition more broadly.

Myself personally, ENN, and the wider nutrition sector will feel his absence greatly going forward, but he also already taught so much to so many of us. I know I will not be alone in taking forward all the many ideas he imparted to me, such as daring to think bigger, better and more strategically!

Natasha Lelijveld


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