*Update: I am more than pleased to announce that after significant pressure from outspoken, persistent, contentious dietitians like myself and thousands of others, the AND rescinded its contract with Kraft foods (although never quite explains why it was a good idea in the first place).* Read on, you should know the story anyway:
Those of you who are dietitians in the U.S. are undoubtedly aware of the entity that is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). They both dictate the practicing of dietetics and provide the recommendations for healthy eating in America. What you may not be aware of is the myriad special interest groups hanging out in the pockets of the AND. A press release has just been made announcing the new partnership between the AND and Kraft Foods. Kraft will be added to the list of AND’s corporate sponsors, and “foods” like Kraft American Cheese and boxed Macaroni and Cheese will now be promoted as healthy food options for your children. It should also be mentioned that AND’s sponsor list already includes Coca-Cola, Pepsi, ConAgra, and McDonald’s. Meanwhile, the Academy maintains that this move is not an endorsement of Kraft foods. Doesn’t make sense, does it?
You can read the New York Times article here:
This year, the Virginia chapter of AND will be meeting in my region and I recently received the program brochure in the mail. Lunch for this conference of dietitians from all over the state is provided by none other than McDonald’s, which everyone will eat while their corporate dietitian discusses the “healthy” options that McDonald’s offers. I am infuriated and am refusing to attend this conference. I will not give my money to any organization who claims to promote health but contradicts themselves by allowing a corporation NOTORIOUS for their low-nutrition, poor-quality food to the American people. I want no part of this madness.
I encourage you to visit the Dietitians for Professional Integrity website to learn more about how you as a dietitian (and consumer) can advocate for yourselves as professionals and for the well-being of your clients or patients.
Meanwhile, please join me in boycotting the AND and do not attend any conferences or CEUs provided by them. By doing so you are not contributing to this massive conflict of interest.
Thank you for reading. Have a healthy day!