IRANIAN NUTRITION SOCIETY
Prof Majid Hajifaraji
President, Iranian Nutrition Society
3, Baran, West Arghavan, Farahzadi Blvd.,
Shahrak Qods, Tehran, Zip Code: 1981619573, Iran.
P.O. Box: 14665-171
Year Established : 1985
No. of members :
Education and research (312), dietitians (596),
Students and alumni (1792)
Executive Council/ Committee
President : Prof Majid Hajifaraji
Secretary : Ms Brelyant Bozorgmehr
Treasurer : Dr Hossein Imani
Public Affairs : Mr Hadi Atarod
Education and Research Affairs : Dr Nahid Aryaeian
Dietetics Affairs : Ms Katayoon Bagheri
Students and Alumni Affairs : Ms Mahshid Dezhan
Inspectors : Mr Majid Hassan-Qomi
Mr Seyed Vahab-eddin Rezvani
Nutrition Science as an established discipline has a history of over 50 years in Iran. Founded in 1961, Iranian Food & Nutrition Institute (later named National Nutrition & Food Technology Research Institute) has been carrying out its duties in different areas such as research programming and implementation of community-based food and nutrition care programs as well as training experts in nutrition and food sciences since its establishment.
With the number of nutrition alumni increasing and the necessity felt for their integration and mobilization, a great need was felt for interventions to eliminate malnutrition. In response to this need, Iranian Nutrition Society (INS) was born in 1984 as one of the first civil society organizations in Iran. Since then, INS has pursued some main courses of action including getting recognized by the government’s body and participating in policy making processes. By the end of 90s, INS had developed into a mature establishment well-recognized by the government’s body, Iranian Ministry of Health (MoH) and other organizations involved in public health. Meanwhile, at international level, INS gained membership of IUNS and FANS.
Following successful organization of a conference on the role of dietetics and dietitians in health services held by INS, MoH delegated the responsibility of organizing the Iranian Nutrition Congresses to INS. In 1990, INS managed to convene the 1st Iranian Nutrition Congress which was one of the richest congresses ever held in terms of both content and scope. So far, INS has held 13 biannual Nutrition congresses, with the most recent one organized at an international level and in a joint endeavor with the nation’s medical universities and MoH.
From 1990 to 1996, INS pursued its second course of action. Drafting and formulating the proposal for establishment of National Food and Nutrition Council, designing and registering PhD programs in nutritional sciences, collaborating with MoH in formulation and implementation of National Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) Program and collaborating with the National Nutrition Committee in formulating the Five-year National Nutrition Agenda are amongst remarkable functions of INS during foregoing course.
Organizing the 4th National Nutrition Congress in 1996, with a special focus on Food and Nutrition Security, INS entered launched its third course of action. One of the main outcomes of this event was implementation of National Study on Planning and Administration, jointly with National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute and Planning and Budget Organization. The results of this study were then used as the input for designing and formulation of the Third Iranian Economic, Social and Cultural Development Plan. Until then, nutrition and food security had never happened to be considered pivotal in development of the country’s macro plans.
Based on the charter of INS, board of the organization consists of seven main members, two alternate members and two inspectors/ scrutinizers. There are also three groups in the society; education and research (312 members), dietitians (596 members), students and alumni (1792 members), each of which having a representative in the board. The Central Council of INS is a monitoring body which has representatives from each group and branches in other cities and is the second most important decision making authority after the General Assembly. The latter is the main supervisor of organization and all its important activities like election of the Board of Directors and determining future policies of the organization.
INS has 11 branches in other cities. The branches have their own boards of directors and work in parallel with the center.
INS is a non-profit organization which survives primarily on membership fees, donations by organizations, industries and institutions, gains from implementation and participation in health & nutrition educational programs, collaboration with other institutes in organizing congresses, conferences & scientific meetings, and issuing approvals for healthy & nutritionally high-value food products.
Health Promotion & Public Education: on different occasions like World Health Day, national ceremonies and cultural events, INS takes the opportunity to present numerous public nutrition education programs to improve people’s life style and dietary patterns.
Through mass media, INS representatives present guidelines for most common health and nutrition problems in country. State TV channels, Radio Health, Radio Family, and Radio Youth are among the main channels for transmissions of health messages to the public audience. Providing guidelines and recommendations for prevention of cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer constitute the main subjects of these programs.
Newspapers, magazines and other periodicals are also used to provide people with healthy diet and life style recommendations. Preparing scientific contents for websites, pamphlets, booklets and leaflets and also delivering speeches in schools and health centers are among the activities at public health level.
Professional Nutrition Trainings
At the professional level, INS has held different workshops to enhance the capabilities of the experts and conveying the latest scientific materials to theses group of audiences. Main subjects of these workshops are as follows: leadership in nutrition, systematic review and Meta-analysis, designing and providing effective messages and so on. Based on the needs of the scientific community, INS has also ordered book translation projects in an attempt to provide the experts, students and alumni with scientific and practical materials.
Establishing nutrition re-education courses and adding courses with functional contents to dietetics curricula are provided by INS in different scientific events throughout the country. Nutritionists, dietitians, physicians and other health professionals are the main addressees of these courses. INS also holds scientific panels in different conferences, congresses, symposia and other scientific gatherings for the professional community.
Participation in Congresses, Conferences & Scientific Meetings
To help find a common and mutual field of collaboration and performance with other establishments of relevant missions, INS has participated in different scientific events with subjects of health. Medical nutrition therapy congresses, dietary supplements conference, obesity prevention congress, food immunity conference, annual scientific meeting of physicians, and other scientific programs are included in the list of scientific events which INS has used for collaboration with other communities involved in public health.
Advocacy Activities to Improve Socio-professional Status of Nutritionists & Dietitians
Providing a specialized environment for dietitians and nutritionist to get into action is one of the main goals of INS members. On the other hand, interfering by non-qualified persons in nutritional care systems and dietetics is one of the main issues of the Iranian nutrition community. To solve these problems, INS has performed different advocacy plans like lobbying with authorities, standardization of diet therapy services, calling for insurance coverage of diet therapy services and other activities regarding social and professional issues of members.
Future Plans of INS
- Registering PhD programs in cellular and molecular nutrition and nutrition epidemiology
- Reviewing and revising current nutrition disciplines (PhD & MSc programs) for their better meeting the needs of the society
- Registering, designing and implementing Registered Dietitian (RD) program in Iran
- Collaborating with MoH in providing nutritional guidelines and plans for health services
- Collaborating with Research and Development sectors of food industries to formulate high nutritional value and healthy food products
- Collaboration with other organizations involved in health and food supply in order to enhance food security and well-being through community
- Designing and proposing community based nutritional programs to solve the main diet-related health problems in the society
- Collaborating with policy makers in formulating national development plans and repositioning nutrition and food security approach in national macro plans.