Should the British Nutrition Foundation be Giving Nutrition Advice?

Should the British Nutrition Foundation be Giving Nutrition Advice?

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Should the British Nutrition Foundation be Giving Nutrition Advice?


A nutrition body that provides advice to the British public on what constitutes a healthy diet should be an independent and unbiased organisation.


The British Nutrition Foundation state on their website that


BNF Claims


They make the claim that they provide evidence-based scientific insight and that they do not endorse any products…



However, if you look at their membership page you will find that their members comprise a huge number of processed food manufacturers.


Below are just some of them.


Sustaining Members of the British Nutrition Foundation

  • Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland
  • J Sainsbury plc
  • Kellogg Europe
  • Mondelez International (who own Cadbury’s Chocolate and describe themselves as one of the world’s largest snacks companies)
  • Nestlé UK Ltd
  • PepsiCo UK Ltd (who own the brands Walkers Crisps and Tropicana among others)
  • Tate & Lyle
  • Unilever plc (who own Flora margarine)


The BNF say that “sustaining members agree to provide a donation to BNF for at least three years to support our wider charitable work focussing on consumer education, and engagement with the media, government, schools and health professionals.”


Corporate Members include:

  • Birds Eye
  • British Sugar plc
  • HJ Heinz Ltd
  • KP Snacks Limited
  • Mars UK Ltd
  • McCain Foods (GB) Ltd
  • McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd
  • Quorn
  • United Biscuits (UK) Limited
  • Warburtons
  • Weetabix

You have to ask the question ‘Why are these companies who produce processed and junk foods giving financial support to the British Nutrition Foundation?’


Here’s a screenshot of one of the days meal plans from the BNF’s sample weekly menu. Notice how although they claim to not endorse any products, it’s suggested we have fortified wheat biscuits for breakfast. We all know this means Weetabix, and funnily enough Weetabix are one of the BNF’s Corporate Members.

British Nutrition Foundation Sample Menu

Orange juice is suggested on 4 days out of 7, even though this would provide 50% of the ‘added sugars’ allowed per day. Seems a strange choice… Could this be because PepsiCo who own the Tropicana brand are a Sustaining Member of the BNF?


With the whole wheat biscuits for breakfast, wholemeal wrap for lunch and a plain scone for a snack, they are suggesting we eat wheat three times per day. I’m pretty sure they could have thought of some better alternatives if they had really wanted to.


Here’s another days sample menu. We all know that baked beans and salad cream are made by Heinz! Wheat features three times a day again (wholegrain toast, wholewheat bread and noodles), and a snack suggestion is crisps!

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 20.15.43


United Biscuits Ltd are another corporate member of the BNF. They own McVitie’s and say on their website “Within the UK, McVitie’s Chocolate Digestives is the number one brand in sweet biscuits”


Lo and behold, what do we find on the BNF’s sample weekly meal plan? How can they justify suggesting chocolate digestive biscuits for a snack? While simultaneously claiming they don’t endorse any products!

United Biscuits McVities British Nutrition Foundation


At the bottom of the meal plan we find the reference that will appease Unilever who are the manufacturers of Flora.

Flora Unilever British Nutrition Foundation


And probably worst of all:British Nutrition Foundation Fizzy drinks

Yes, a nutrition body really is suggesting that fizzy drinks are OK!


The BNF are clearly not an unbiased advice body existing to improve the health of the nation. We do not believe that with these conflicts of interest, that the British Nutrition Foundation should be allowed to give the British public nutrition advice.


They certainly should not have been involved in revising the Eatwell Guide, the official dietary guidelines from the Government!


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