Spotlight on… British Nutrition Foundation

01 July 2008

About BNF

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) promotes the nutritional wellbeing of society through the impartial interpretation and effective dissemination of scientifically based knowledge and advice on the relationship between diet, physical activity and health. It works in partnership with academic and research institutes, the food industry, educators, government and interacts with the media. The Foundation is a charitable organisation whose income derives from donations and contracts won competitively from the food industry, a variety of government departments and the European Commission.

The scientific reputation of the Foundation is derived from its many contacts with top nutrition scientists and from its in-house nutritionists. Distinguished academics comprise the Foundation's various scientific committees.

Main activities

The Foundation runs several conference each year. These well attended scientific events are held in London and around the UK, with speakers who are among the leading experts in their fields. They are often held in association with other influential organisations and are attended by healthcare professionals, the food industry, research scientists, teachers, lecturers and journalists. BNF also has its own journal, Nutrition Bulletin, published four times a year. The foundation’s staff write articles, run workshops and make presentations at conferences for teachers, healthcare professionals and others.

BNF convenes groups of internationally recognised scientific experts (Task Forces) to address and interpret the evidence concerning particular nutrition topics where data may be uncertain, and open to misinterpretation. Public health problems, in which nutrition plays a role, are also investigated. These Task Forces deliver independent consensus reports which provide a comprehensive and authoritative reference point. Recent reports include cardiovascular disease, and a future report will focus on the role of diet and lifestyle in healthy ageing.

The foundation is a partne in several large EU-funded projects, including Lipgene, EuroFIR and ProSafeBeef, and is responsible for dissemination activities.

A nutritional consultancy service, including matters concerned with nutrition policy and research, product development and regulatory affairs, is available to members and other organisations on request.

Nutrition Scientists are available to answer enquiries from journalists and broadcast media, and provide reliable information and unbiased comment on current nutrition issues. When possible, the Foundation responds to enquiries from members of the public, schools, the food industry and a wide range of other organisations. The Foundation also provides independent comment to government consultations in the field of food and nutrition, thus helping to influence government policy.

The BNF also offers bursaries to medical and nutrition undergraduates who undertake research electives on nutritional issues in developing countries.

The foundation has developed a wide range of educational resources, including posters, CD-ROMS and an extensive website, Food A Fact of Life for schools. This provides freely downloadable resource and interactive online activities for pupils. It integrates with curriculum requirements throughout the UK, and has been developed in consultation with expert education groups in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

BNF Briefing Papers are concise and authoritative reviews of nutritional issues that have been written by the Foundation's nutrition scientists and reviewed by external experts. They are suitable for dietitians, nutritionists and other health professionals, the food industry, students of food related subjects, college lecturers and teachers. EUFIC has selected the abstracts of several BNF Briefing Papers, or produced own abstracts of other full papers, and translated them into different languages for a broader European audience. Details of other Briefing Papers can be found on BNF’s website, most of which are now downloadable free of charge.

Selected resources

  1. Is sugar the new tobacco?
  2. Let’s take another look at sugar