The Society is looking for members to volunteer to help establish a new advisory group - the Parliamentary Advisory Group. The Group will be responsible for monitoring nutrition science and health related matters in the UK Parliament, devolved administrations and local government, and assisting the newly formed All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nutrition: Science and Health, achieve its objectives.
One of the key objectives (Objective 3a) within the Nutrition Society’s Strategic Plan calls for ‘The Society to engage with academia, industry, government and others to advocate for nutrition science and those engaged its research and application.’ As part of achieving this objective, the Society has formed an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Nutrition: Science and Health. The Group, chaired by Tracey Crouch CBE MP (and with MPs and Peers as members), will hold its first meeting in The House of Commons on 6 June, to review ‘The dual health burden of malnutrition and obesity in the UK’. The APPG has a Scientific Advisory Board comprising of 4 senior Nutrition Society members.
Advisory Group Scope of Work
Support the APPG
In its first year, the APPG will hold an inquiry titled ‘The role of Nutrition as the new Preventative Medicine: positive nutrition interventions to reduce the burden and costs on the UK health services.’
Over the year the APPG will hold 3 face-to-face meetings in Parliament to hear from expert witnesses (the first being on 6 June). In addition, written evidence for the inquiry will be sought from a wide range of external stakeholders and interested parties. The aim, at the end of the inquiry, will be to publish a report on the findings and recommendations for action for parliamentarians.
In future years the APPG will then be well placed to continue to call experts to establish an independent and authoritative voice on nutrition to provide parliamentarians with informed and timely guidance on pressing issues in nutrition science.
The new Parliamentary Advisory Group will be responsible for assisting the APPG in both identifying potential witnesses and drafting the report in its first year. In subsequent years the Group will continue to support the APPG Scientific Advisory Board in identifying suitable nutrition science topics for review.
Monitor Parliamentary Activities
The Society has invested in a powerful new platform (known as Vuelio), which provides daily and weekly email updates from the UK Parliament, devolved administrations and local government. Email updates are triggered by keywords (such as nutrition, obesity, school meals etc) when used in speeches written reports and social media. It is a very powerful tool, and enables the Society to now, for the first time, maintain a watching brief within government on nutrition science-related activities. It will help identify politicians who are active in this area and enable the Society to meet its objective of engaging and potentially influencing those with the greatest interest in nutrition science research and application.
The new Parliamentary Advisory Group will be responsible for monitoring the email alerts and identifying potential areas and individuals of interest. This, in turn, will also support the direction which the APPG may decide to take.
Volunteers for the Parliamentary Advisory Group will likely need to dedicate one hour a week to monitoring the email alerts. A further hour will be needed monthly to meet (face-to-face or online) as a Group to review the alerts and update on the work of the APPG.
Volunteers for the Group can also elect to support the APPG in its inquiry. This is likely to require 2-4 hours a month, and an interest in drafting a report.
The Group will be formed in June 2023.
The work of the Parliamentary Advisory Group will likely be attractive to early and mid-career members, especially those with an interest in politics, policy and/or science communications. It is an exciting opportunity to be involved in an entirely new venture for the Society, and help build a legacy activity for others to follow into.
Members who wish to express an interest in volunteering for the Group should, in the first instance, email Mark Hollingsworth, the CEO, (firstname.lastname@example.org) and briefly outline the area of the work of the Group they are interested in. An online meeting will then be arranged to discuss the Group in more detail.