15 Oct 2019

The Association for Nutrition (AfN), British Dietetic Association (BDA), British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) and Nutrition Society (NS) have today (15 October 2019) launched the Academy of Nutrition Sciences (ANS), a new charitable organisation which aims to provide a powerful and unified voice to promote evidence-based nutrition science.

The formation of the Academy of Nutrition Sciences has been announced at the Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS) European Nutrition Conference in Dublin, Ireland. The announcement was made by Professor Harry McArdle, Emeritus Professor at the Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, and the new Academy’s new Chair of Trustees.

The Academy builds on existing collaboration between the four founding organisations, and will act as an umbrella body for strategic initiatives. The Academy will seek to improve public health and wellbeing and support excellence in research, education and associated activities to advance the knowledge and application of evidence-based nutrition science.

Speaking about the role of the new body Professor McArdle said; “Ensuring the quality of public information on nutrition is a critical goal because people often struggle to access well informed and safe advice.

“The creation of the Academy comes at an important time, when the central role of diet and nutrition in wider public health is being better recognised, and conditions such as diabetes and obesity on the one hand, and undernutrition on the other, are placing increased strain on our health services.

“The Academy will also act as a champion of nutrition education and research, promoting nutrition science as an important STEM subject and a career path accessible to all. This is a hugely exciting development and I look forward to taking the organisation forward as chair of trustees.”

BDA Chair Caroline Bovey said: “This is a hugely positive development and a very clear indication of the BDA’s commitment to work with allies who share our commitment to evidence-based nutrition and practice. While we will all maintain our individual identities and priorities, when we come together as the Academy, we will have a more powerful voice.”

BDA President Lord Balfe, who attended the launch of the event, said “In the complex and often crowded world of nutrition and dietary advice, it can be difficult to know which sources to trust. That’s why I am pleased that the British Dietetic Association will be helping to found the Academy of Nutritional Sciences to help provide clear leadership in this important field.” 

The Academy, which is registered with the Charity Commission, will complement and amplify the existing work of the four founding organisations. It will work with partner organisations to deliver leadership and add value. Other organisations from the UK and further afield, who share the Academy’s ambition, principles and values, will be welcome to join in future. Academy membership is open to organisations, not individuals. Commercial food or pharmaceutical business will not be eligible to become members.


For more information / interview requests, please contact the British Dietetic Association Press Office on:

0800 048 1714


  • For more information on the Academy, visit www.academynutritionsciences.org.uk
  • The Association for Nutrition (AfN) – Protecting the public and promoting high standards in evidence-based science and professional practice of nutrition.
    The AfN was established in 2008 as an independent regulator of nutritionists, and incorporated as a Charity in 2010.  It holds the UKVRN (United Kingdom Voluntary Register of Nutritionists) and awards the titles Registered Nutritionist and Registered Associate Nutritionist. AfN is responsible for public protection, upholding standards for the safe and effective practice of nutrition and providing a fitness to practice process to benefit members of the public by holding professionals to account. The AfN accredits scientific degree programmes in nutrition, both in the UK and internationally, as well as certifying non degree level courses for the wider workforce. The AfN sets standards for training, for continuing professional development and for the professional practice of its registrants.


  • The British Dietetic Association (BDA) - Empowering members to make a difference to patient care and outcomes.

The BDA was founded in 1936, and is the professional body and trade union for dietitians in the UK. It is one of the oldest and most established dietetic associations in the world. Its primary purpose is to advance the science and practice of dietetics and improve the health of the nation. Membership is open to anyone with a dietetic or nutrition qualification, as well as anyone with an interest in diet or food. The BDA is run by an appointed Board of Directors, some of whom are independent of the profession. The BDA campaigns on behalf of its membership and also on matters which will improve the health of the public. Its funding largely comes from its individual members, as well as from commercial activity and trading.

  • The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) - Translating evidence-based nutrition science in engaging and actionable ways.

The BNF is a registered charity that delivers impartial, authoritative and evidence-based information on food and nutrition. Its core purpose is translating evidence-based nutrition science in engaging and actionable ways, working with an extensive network of contacts across academia, education and the food chain, and through BNF work programmes focussing on education in schools and nutrition science communication. The key role of BNF’s Trustees is to ensure that the Foundation delivers its charitable aims, is impartial, transparent and acts with integrity. Representation on BNF’s governance committees is purposely weighted towards those without a personal financial interest in the commercial food sector.  BNF’s funding comes from a variety of sources including EU projects; contracts with national government departments and agencies; conferences, publications and training; membership subscriptions; donations and project grants from food producers and manufacturers, retailers and food service companies; funding from grant providing bodies, trusts and other charities. BNF is not a lobbying organisation nor does it endorse any products or engage in food advertising campaigns.


  • The Nutrition Society (NS) – Advancing nutritional science

The Nutrition Society of the UK and Ireland was established in 1941 and is one of the largest learned societies for nutrition in the world. With over 2,600 members internationally, the Society is dedicated to delivering its mission of advancing the scientific study of nutrition and its application to animal and human health. The Society disseminates and promotes nutrition science through its five renowned journals and six textbooks, in addition to regularly organising CPD endorsed conferences and webinars. Working with universities, parliamentarians, industry representatives, academic researchers, and other membership organisations, the Society aims to create opportunities for building relationships that strengthen research and collaboration within the field. Membership is open to any individual with an interest in nutritional science.