Happy Birthday to the BDA – Association celebrates 80th anniversary!

Happy Birthday to the BDA – Association celebrates 80th anniversary!

15 March 2016

Wednesday 16 March sees the British Dietetic Association (BDA) celebrating a very special occasion – its 80th birthday.

The BDA, founded in 1936, is the professional association and trade union for dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 8,500 members. 

In 1936, the BDA held its very first meeting in the Grand Committee Room at St Thomas’ Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road in London. To mark this historic anniversary, the BDA will be holding a drinks reception at the QEII Centre in London.

The reception includes the Creina Murland Memorial Lecture being delivered by Anita MacDonald on the theme of leadership followed by the presentation of the General and Education Trust (GET) awards.

At the first meeting, Miss Margery Abrahams was nominated and elected as the BDA’s very first Chairman and her first act in this role was to ask the meeting if they wanted to form the British Dietetic Association, which they voted upon and agreed.

Speaking ahead of next week’s meeting, the present Honorary Chair of the BDA, Fiona McCullough, said:

“I am extremely proud of my profession and I am also proud to be the Chair of the British Dietetic Association. The Association is steeped in an impressive history and the reception on March 18 will be an important time for us to celebrate this.

“I am confident that if our first Chairman, Miss Margery Abrahams, was still with us, she would be thrilled to see the British Dietetic Association operating so successfully after so many years.

“It’s important that we work together as dietitians and with partners to address the issues that are facing us now and the issues that will continue to in the future. The Chairman’s theme for the two years I am in post is ‘Workplace Health’ which is of high importance when a large percentage of the population spend much of their time at their workplace.

“Malnutrition and obesity, are another two worrying concerns that impact on the quality of so many lives in the UK. Along with the conflicting nutrition advice that exists – it really is up to us as dietitians to provide credible and evidence-based messages to the public.

 “I know that the whole Council and BDA staff will join me in celebrating our 80th anniversary.”

Also commenting, the BDA Chief Executive, Andy Burman, added:

“This truly is a historic day for the BDA. From a meeting organised by a handful of dietitians 80 years ago, the BDA has grown and matured into the UK’s leading food and nutrition member organisation with a strong and loyal membership base.  Indeed, such was the need of our membership, the BDA also became the trade union for its members.

“It is important that we look back over the last 80-years and celebrate the successes and progression of the profession.”

A number of key guests have been invited to join the BDA for the evening. BDA members are able to attend the lecture for £30. Alternatively book a place to attend BDA Live for the full day on Wednesday 16 March and the drinks reception and lecture is included as part of your ticket. 


For more information / interview requests, please contact the BDA Press Office on:

0800 048 1714



Notes to the Editor:


  • Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. Uniquely, dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.


  • Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be statutorily regulated, and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Dietitians work in the NHS, private practice, industry, education, research, sport, media, public relations, publishing, non-government organisations and government. Their advice influences food and health policy across the spectrum from government, local communities and individuals.


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