An ex-Leyton firefighter is teaching fire crews how to eat healthily and improve their performance.

Greg Lessons, a firefighter for 17 years at Leyton, Shoreditch and 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.

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, 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.

The Caroline Walker Trust (CWT) was founded in 1989 after the death of the distinguished nutritionist, writer and campaigner Caroline Walker.

Greg 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, 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.

“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.”