Welcome to BNF 50: Celebrating 50 years of making nutrition science accessible to all

Milestones, such as big anniversaries, are a time to reflect. And we have done so with laughter at some of the images in our archive but also with much seriousness. The words made famous by Newton ‘Standing on the shoulders of giants’ are apt – we are honoured to have had the great and the good in nutrition as strong supporters over the past 50 years and continue to do so today, from the great nutritionists no longer with us but whose teachings still inspire us, like Professor Elsie Widdowson, Professor David Southgate, Professor John Waterlow and Professor David Barker, to our eminent council today chaired by Professor Christine Williams.

For those who do not know us, BNF was set up in 1967 as a registered charity to stimulate research and education in the field of nutrition. Our role today is similar – to translate complex science into useful messages and practical advice for everyone, to support the knowledge and training of all those involved in the nutrition education of others and to advance the study of and research into nutrition.

As interest in diet and health continues to rise, it is of crucial importance - perhaps even more so in today’s challenging environment with its myriad of conflicting nutrition stories - that the public has access to evidence-based nutrition science. BNF, through avenues such as its expert staff and scientific advisory committees, website, resources, media service and highly regarded journal, Nutrition Bulletin, works strategically to do this.

And good nutrition education should start early, enabling the next generation to have the necessary skills to make sense of food – from farm to fork – and help to ensure our children develop healthy lifestyle habits, which are key to our nation’s future health. We’ve been supporting education for over 26 years, mainly through of our education programme Food – a fact of life with the provision of free resources and teacher training, as well as our Healthy Eating Week school initiative reaching millions of schoolchildren.

While the 50th anniversary is a wonderful chance to look back, it is also an opportunity to look forward to the future. We will build on the legacy from BNF’s past 50 years to try to expand our reach and impact over the next 50 years. We’ve shown over the last half century that we can work in successful partnership with the media, academics, industry, schools, government and other NGOs. We hope to continue our work together, adapting to social, dietary and technological changes along the way – but remaining true to our mission: making nutrition science accessible to all.