Posts Tagged ‘Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’

School Food Lobby Flip-flops on Healthy School Lunches

School Nutrition Association includes such Big Food sponsors as PepsiCo, Domino’s and Muffin Town.

Perhaps the most visible advocate for improving school food, Michelle Obama is now defending what shouldn’t be such a controversial idea: adding fruits and vegetables to public school lunches. Ask any nutrition expert what foods Americans — especially kids — need more of in their diet, and the answer would be the same: fresh produce. But some Republicans, such as Rep. Robert Aderholt of Alabama, never seem to miss an opportunity to turn a no-brainer into a political battle, particularly when it comes to school food. (Who can forget the pizza as a vegetable debacle?) And just in time to give them the necessary cover, they got a gift from an unlikely source. The School Nutrition Association (SNA) has asked Congress to approve waiver requests for schools that are struggling to comply with federal nutrition regulations aimed at improving children’s health.

Read rest at Al Jazeera America …

Media Coverage of Report: And Now a Word From Our Sponsors

In January, I released a report called, And Now a Word from Our Sponsors: Are America’s Nutrition Professionals in the Pocket of Big Food? The report continues to receive media attention, in part due to a Change.org petition asking the Academy to clean up its act. Be sure to sign on. Also, please support Dietitians for Professional Integrity, a new group of dedicated registered dietitians working to change the Academy’s sponsorship policies.

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Nutrition, Inc: In-depth Story in Progressive Magazine

 

Proving that a good story just won’t die, the  current issue of the Progressive takes an in-depth look at my report from January on the conflicted corporate sponsorships of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And good timing too, because registered dietitian Andy Bellatti’s Change.org petition on this subject is gathering steam.

You can download the Progressive article here. Thanks to investigative journalist Christopher Cook for such great coverage. Is anyone at the Academy listening yet?

 

 

 

Is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Silencing its Members Who Object to McDonald’s Sponsoring Lunch?

2/28 Postscript: In happy news, Tara Marino reports that after an exchange with Lauren Fox (social media manager for AND), she will be reinstated. Fox claimed that Marino’s comments were not the reason for her removal but rather AND was deleting all non-members of the Academy. Marino provided her member number, which cleared things up. However, still no word back from the California affiliate.

I received the following email from registered dietitian Tara Marino who says she was recently “deleted” from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics LinkedIn group after expressing support for my report on the organization’s questionable corporate sponsors. (See previous post on a similar silencing attempt.)

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Addressing Alleged “Inaccuracies” of the ‘And Now a Word from Our Sponsors’ Report

In the first few days after my report on the conflicted corporate sponsorship of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the Academy’s response was to make vague accusations about “factual inaccuracies” contained in my report. After I complained about AND’s failure to be specific, they posted this list entitled, “Addressing Inaccuracies of the ‘And Now a Word from Our Sponsors’ Report.” It sure looks impressive, with 14 items I supposedly got wrong. However, upon closer inspection, it’s just more of the same public relations spin from a desperate organization.

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Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Controlling Responses to My Report

A colleague sent me the following email message that went out to members of the Missouri Dietetics Association (MDA). I think it pretty much speaks for itself. See note at the end, which includes: “Do not reply to this message, as this is not a discussion forum.” Obviously not. Continue reading →

More Shooting the Messenger from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

A friend sent me the below email response, sent to a colleague of his who inquired about my recent report on corporate sponsorship of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the nation’s trade group for registered dietitians. It contains many similar misdirects and insults, as opposed to addressing the issue at hand. Just more evidence the organization’s leadership is tone-deaf to its own members‘ concerns.

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McDonald’s “Educating” Nutrition Professionals

McDonald's booth at Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics expo promoting smoothies

In the report I recently released, (covered by the New York Times) “And Now a Word from Our Sponsors,” I described the various ways the food industry influences the largest trade group of nutrition professionals: the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. While other corporations such as Coca-Cola play a more prominent role by being an “Academy Partner,” McDonald’s engaged in its trademark health-washing at the Academy’s annual meeting last fall.

Read rest at Corporate Accountability International…

And Now a Word from Our Sponsors: New Report from Eat Drink Politics

January 23, 2013 – For Immediate Release

Public health attorney and author Michele Simon asks: Are America’s nutrition professionals in the pocket of Big Food? While the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ 74,000-member trade group partners with the likes of Coke and Hershey’s, the nation’s health continues to suffer from poor diet.

The largest trade group of nutrition professionals—the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics—has a serious credibility problem. In a damning report released today, industry watchdog Eat Drink Politics examines the various forms of corporate sponsorship by Big Food that are undermining the integrity of those professionals most responsible for educating Americans about healthy eating.

The report details, for example, how registered dietitians can earn continuing education units from Coca-Cola, in which they learn that sugar is not a problem for children and how Nestlé, the world’s largest food company can pay $50,000 to host a two-hour “nutrition symposium” at the Academy’s annual meeting. Additional disturbing findings from the report include:

  • Beginning in 2001, the Academy listed 10 food industry sponsors; the 2011 annual report lists 38, a more than three-fold increase;
  • Companies on the Academy’s list of approved continuing education providers include Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Nestlé, and PepsiCo;
  • At the 2012 annual meeting, 18 organizations – less than five percent of all exhibitors – captured 25 percent of the total exhibitor space. Only two out of the 18 represented whole, non-processed foods;
  • The Corn Refiners Association (lobbyists for high fructose corn syrup) sponsored three “expo impact” sessions at the 2012 annual meeting;
  • A majority of registered dietitians surveyed found three current Academy sponsors “unacceptable” (Coca-Cola, Mars, and PepsiCo);
  • 80 percent of registered dietitians said sponsorship implies Academy endorsement of that company and their products;
  • The Academy has not supported controversial nutrition policies that might upset corporate sponsors, such as limits on soft drink sizes, soda taxes, or GMO labels;
  • Sponsors and their activities appear to violate the Academy’s own sponsorship guidelines.

Among the report’s recommendations are for the Academy to: 1) provide greater transparency on corporate funding sources; 2) gather input from all members on corporate sponsorship; 3) reject all corporate-sponsored education; and 4) provide better leadership on controversial nutrition policy issues. Registered dietitian and Academy member Andy Bellatti, who has long criticized his professional group’s conflicted corporate sponsorships said:

Michele Simon’s report on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is thoroughly researched and expertly points out the different ways in which the nation’s leading nutrition organization harms its reputation, efficacy, and members by forming partnerships with food companies that care more about selling products than they do about improving the health of Americans. Anyone concerned about public health will realize that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is in dire need of systemic change if it hopes to take a leadership role and be taken seriously as the home base of the nation’s nutrition experts.

Report links:

Contact: Michele Simon at (510) 465-0322 or Michele@EatDrinkPolitics.com

Lies, Dirty Tricks, and $45 Million Kill GMO Labeling in California

Prop 37 - California Right to Know

California’s Proposition 37, which would have required labeling of GMO foods, died a painful death last night. Despite polling in mid-September showing an overwhelming lead, the measure lost by 53 to 47 percent, which is relatively close considering the No side’s tactics.

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Contact Michele Simon: michele@eatdrinkpolitics.com

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