'We found ourselves getting more and more calls, but the process of finding the duty diet expert and passing on his or her details meant calls got passed around in a less than efficient way,' she said. 'Now journalists ring one number and it goes straight through to one of our media dieticians.'
The not-for-profit association has been particularly successful at establishing its position as a media commentator.
Last year it provoked an outraged response from Pret a Manger founder Julian Metcalfe for claiming a mozzarella sandwich from the store contained more calories than a Big Mac.
It has also gained coverage in new year diet and healthy-eating articles. By streamlining the process of putting its spokespeople in front of journalists, Rimmer said the BDA hoped to raise its profile even further among trade bodies and the general public.
She added that as well as online marketing, the BDA was targeting food and nutrition press and had been in contact with national health correspondents.
The hotline number, 0870 850 2517, went live on Monday (16 January).
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