Monday, May 27, 2013

Nutrition Classes Taught by . . . Are You Kidding Me?

by Kate Collins

This is something you should know. I just read an interesting -- no, make that disturbing -- article about a report entitled:  And Now a Word from Our Sponsors... Are America’s Nutrition Professionals in the Pocket of Big Food? It's written by Michele Simon, who has been in the field of health law for 17 years.

In the article I discovered that giant food corporations like Kraft, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, and General Mills are teaching courses on nutrition to our registered dietitians, with the blessings of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

It's scary because the The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics represent 74,000 of the nation’s health professionals whose job it is to help Americans to eat right. At each annual meeting, as many as 13,000 registered dietitians are in attendance.


“Some have been in the profession for a while. Some are students – young and impressionable. This is a huge meeting that happens every single year, where these companies get to show off their latest, slightly-better-for-you junk food, and teach these RDs [about nutrition],” she says.

One such course is about the benefits of aspartame, a known dangerous food.  So when the largest junk food manufacturers on the planet are the ones teaching dietitians about nutrition and what makes for a healthy diet, you know we're in trouble.

And when people write articles and blogs about this subject, they can face legal action from the Academy, who do not want this information to get out.

The good news is that in the wake of Michele's report, a group of RDs have formed an organization called Dietitians for Professional Integrity, aimed at pushing for more transparency and independence from industry.

So next time you get advice from a dietitian, you might want to ask where she or he is getting the information.

If you'd like to learn more, here's a helpful link: http://tinyurl.com/ofm7vq3