It is enshrined in Article 18 (1) of Bangladesh Constitution that the State shall regard the raising level of nutritional improvement of public health as among its primary duties. Based on the Article, the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh established Bangladesh Applied Nutrition and Human Resource Development Board as per decision of the Cabinet through regulation published in Bangladesh Gazette in January 2002. In 2012, Bangladesh Institute of Research and Training on Applied Nutrition (BIRTAN) Act-2012 (Act No. XVIII of 2012) passed by Parliament, which was published in 19th June, 2012 in Bangladesh Gazette. The Institute aims at developing human resources of various government and non-governmental organization on food based nutrition through short training courses, advocacy meetings, symposia, workshops and mass media.
The Board came into existence in 1968 as an Applied Nutrition Project (ANP) which continued until 1979 with developed methodologies for solving nutrition problems on self-help basis. Based on its success, the project was renamed as Bangladesh Institute of Research and Training on Applied Nutrition (BIRTAN) based in Dhaka under the Ministry of Agriculture. BIRTAN has been renamed again as Bangladesh Applied Nutrition and Human Resource Development Board (BANHRDB) in 2000. Its activities subsequently were expanded to other parts of the country through establishing four Regional Centers.