British Nutrition Foundation - Operations

Operations

Through its nutrition science and education programmes, BNF works to support the definition and development of national, European and international strategies that will improve the health and wellbeing of society through accessible, relevant, evidence-based and independent information about nutrition, diet and lifestyle.

BNF provides a pipeline to an evidence-based nutrition science knowledge bank. It brings together a vast network from the scientific and nutrition communities, including academics, nutrition scientists, food technologists, teachers and health professionals, from across the UK, Europe and Worldwide, providing a forum for the sharing of scientific evidence and education best practice.

BNF is a conduit to evidence-based intelligence and resources. It provides a professional sounding-board for organisations and industry nutritionists, as well as a reliable, independent means of assessing the scientific evidence about food and nutrition for organisations operating within, or with an interest in, the food, nutrition, health and associated industries.

BNF is actively involved with government but is not a lobbying organisation. It works with government and policy makers as an objective, informed and independent adviser, helping to shape and support policy for public benefit. BNF also tenders for and works on UK government and EU funded nutrition science and education projects, often in partnership with other academic, science, communications and education organisations in the UK and overseas.

For example, BNF is a partner in a 4-year government funded project to update data on the composition of foods in the UK, which will culminate in the publication of the 7th edition of McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods, a publication widely used by dietitians, nutrition scientists and academics to access standard nutritional values for all foods.

BNF’s team of nutrition scientists also produces a range of resources including a quarterly journal (Nutrition Bulletin), Briefing Papers and Task Force Reports. Its website (www.nutrition.org.uk) provides a wealth of nutrition information with sections targeted towards health professionals, consumers and the media. A member of the science team is available during working hours to provide a free advice service to journalists to help them to report accurately about diet and health. The science team also gives talks to a wide range of audiences, television and radio interviews and provide in-house and on-line training on different aspects of nutrition.

BNF does not endorse companies, brands or products. It works with responsible industry organisations, providing solid scientific evidence and knowledge of policy direction and priorities, to help them make informed decisions about their own policies on nutrition for public health benefit.

BNF’s education staff support teachers, teaching assistants and others involved with education, students and their families, through the Foundation’s Food – a fact of life programme. The programme provides curriculum compliant, accurate and up-to-date multi-media education resources for schools – nursery, primary and secondary levels, which can be accessed via its dedicated website: www.foodafactoflife.org.uk. Last year, over 2.75m pieces of information were downloaded.

Food – a fact of life education resources include interactive learning modules, teachers’ guides, practical exercises and recipes for use in the classroom and at home. The programme also provides advice and guidance on policy matters relating to children’s dietary requirements and the provision of food in schools, and ensures that teachers and students have access to the most up to date and effective resources available.

In recent years BNF has extended the use of ICT in its education programme, and regular podcasts and eSeminars for secondary school teachers have expanded opportunities for the group to communicate successfully with students and provide CPD to teachers. BNF has worked in a consortium to develop and manage national food education projects for government, e.g., Food in Schools, Licence to Cook.

BNF has four active education working groups: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, which advise on current projects and identify priorities for future strategic plans.

The Drummond Memorial Fund

In 2012, BNF was selected to take over administration of the Drummond Memorial Fund in recognition of its commitment to nutrition education and the interpretation and communication of complex scientific information on nutrition, diet and lifestyle.

The Fund has previously been administered by a board of distinguished Trustees from University College London, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Edinburgh.

The Drummond Memorial Fund’s objectives of advancing the knowledge of nutrition and of promoting education and research align with those of BNF. The Foundation is now utilising the Fund to implement a comprehensive programme of initiatives which include a series of awards recognising excellence in the communication of nutrition science; Internships at the Foundation; on-line nutrition related training; and pump priming research grants for newly appointed university lecturers and research fellows in the field of nutrition.

Read more about this topic:  British Nutrition Foundation

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