Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Conflicts of Interest

“Academy of Nutrition and
Dietetics Conflicts of Interest” The food industry enjoys influential
positions in surprising places. The American Dietetic Association (ADA),
the world’s largest association
of nutrition professionals, is, in its own words, devoted to
“improving the nation’s health.” To that end, they promote a
series of Nutrition Fact Sheets. Who writes them? Industry sources pay $20,000
per fact sheet to the ADA and explicitly take part
in writing the documents. The ADA then promotes them
through its scientific journal. Some of these fact sheets are “What’s a Mom
to Do?: Healthy Eating Tips for Families” sponsored and co-written by Wendy’s; “Lamb: The Essence of Nutrient Rich Flavor,” sponsored by the lamb industry; “Cocoa and Chocolate: Sweet News” from the Hershey Center
for Health and Nutrition; “Eggs” sponsored by the American
Egg Board’s Egg Nutrition Center; “Responsible Drinking Choices” from
the Distilled Spirits Council; and “The Benefits of Chewing Gum” sponsored
by the Wrigley Science Institute. I didn’t know Wrigley’s
had a science institute… In 2008, the ADA announced that the Coca-Cola
Company had become an “ADA Partner” through its corporate relations
sponsorship program. The ADA “provides partners a national
platform via ADA events and programs” “with prominent access to key
influencers, thought leaders,” “and decision makers in
the nutrition marketplace.” The ADA’s press release
also pointed out that “the Coca-Cola Company will share their
research findings with ADA members” “in forums such as professional
meetings and scientific publications.” Did you know that there are no harmful effects
of different Coca-cola beverages on rat testicles?! Was that even a concern? Thou doth
protest too much, methinks. (poking fun) When the American Academy of
Family Physicians was called out on their proud new corporate
relationship with Coke to support patient education
on healthy eating, an executive vice-president of
the Academy tried to quell protest by explaining that this alliance
was not without precedent. They’ve had similar relationships with
Pepsi and McDonald’s for some time reminiscent of similar types
of relationships in the past… The fact that the Academy of Family Physicians was
also collaborating with Pepsi and McDonald’s didn’t seem to placate critics. So the exec continued, ‘look even the American
Dietetic Association has made a policy statement’ that “There are no
good or bad foods.” Indeed, that’s the
ADA’s official position. “Classification of specific foods as
good or bad is overly simplistic.” The ADA has taken a strong stand that
there are no good foods or bad foods, a position that the food industry
has then exploited. In its early years, the tobacco
industry sounded a similar theme: smoking per se was not bad,
only “excess” smoking. Everything in moderation…(sardonic) Is this what family docs
have been reduced to? To justify an unholy alliance we
hide behind what others say and do and deny that there are actually
unhealthy “bad” foods? I wonder how much money the ADA
receives from the Coca-Cola Company and other food and
beverage companies to have come up with their
“no good or bad foods” philosophy? In 2012, the American Dietetic Association
changed their name – the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Did their policies change at all? After all they now have
“nutrition” in their title. A landmark report last year from
one of my favorite industry watchdogs, found that they continue
to take millions of dollars in corporate sponsorship money every
year from meat, processed junk, dairy, soda, and candy bar companies. And in return offer official educational seminars
to teach dietitians what to say to their clients. So when you hear the
title “registered dietitian,’ this is the group they
are registered with.

49 thoughts on “Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Conflicts of Interest

  1. I am a proud fedora wearing neckbeard who reads cracked.

  2. Careful Doc or they will kick you out of the club.  If you question their tobacco science you become a conspiracy theorist.

  3. Dr. Gregor, are there any competing education programs that are in line with sanity?

    Is it possible for one to become a registered dietician or nutritionist without joining this organization?

    Maybe it's time to start your own certifying body….

  4. I'm a plant-based dietitian that takes offense to your generalization against dietitians in this video. Many of your videos offer great content that is evidence-based, which is great. Dietitians are credentialed through the Commission on Dietetic Registration. You can have the RD credential and not be a member of the AND, so try not to advocate against dietitians please. We need 4 years of school, 1200 practicing hours and a national board exam to earn the credential. Where would you urge those needing nutrition guidance to turn to, if not dietitians?

  5. I was excited to attend a nutrition talk given by a "Registered Dietitian" with my 13 year old son for his swim team. She told us that fruit flavored snacks count as fruit and that sports drinks and chocolate milk (example given loaded with high fructose corn syrup and the like) were a great choice for snacks during meets. What a disappointment. This is what our children are being taught!

  6. Wow!  Extremely Enlightening!  I went to school for Dietetics and always knew at a gut level that it wasn't what I really signed up for…. I signed up for learning about true health and that IS NOT Where it's at!!!!  ….Unbelievable!!!!


  8. See the thing is, most people are under the illusion there is a government. Sure, we have 'elected' officials, but all, to some extend or another, are simple servants of their corporate masters, or whomever pays for their election campaigns. Of course their second priority is purely self serving, as in, to get reelected. Oh, and yeah, this is global. First, second, third, or whatever 'world' you call it, its all the same… everywhere.

  9. Did you see the cover of "Time" magazine June 23, 2014?
    "Scientists labeled fat the enemy. Why they were wrong". I wonder who is behind that research?

  10. Dr. Greger, I know your video did not explicitly reject dietitians out of hand; however, a cursory reading of your subscriber’s comments would show that is a common inference after viewing.  I myself felt you used a derisive tone towards RD/RDNs in this particular video, though I am not sure if you actually meant to suggest that the AND’s corporate affiliations corrupted it’s members.
    As a dietitian, I will tell you that at no point during my education or training did I feel that the corporate sponsorship of this organization in anyway influence me, or my experience.  I am also sure that you know that the American Medical Association’s (AMA) “gold” and “silver” level corporate roundtable contributors are mostly pharmaceutical companies.  Does this fact discount all your work with whole-food / non-pharmaceutical solutions to health problems?  I would argue that it doesn’t. 
    The AND also has roughly $35million in operating expenses and only receives about $16million in membership dues and examination fees from its members.  We are also a profession that takes years to get credentialed and are required to do significant work to keep credentialed, while only having a median income of $55k (we RDs can’t really pay higher fees and dues to offset the difference, while paying down our undergrad and graduate loans).  The sponsorships have always been a point of contention among RDs, if we could lose them, I’m sure we would!
    I would also ask, is there a group that you know of that has as high a credentialing standard or as competitive culture as registered dietitians, when it comes to understanding food and nutrition?   I know I can’t.  I have also seen many “naturalistic nutritionists” do some pretty dangerous things.  Non-credentialed nutritionists are not the solution, when the average person does not have the requisite skills to identify a “good” nutritionist and can be so easily seduced by non-supported promises of quick-fixes, and outright quackery. 
    Every profession has good and bad practitioners (an MD that spent a little time before the senate a few weeks back comes to mind).  In the future you may not wish to make such broad and dismissive comments about professionals who are trying to change the culture of this country, just like you.  As a fan of yours, I don’t want videos like this to tarnished my thoughts on you, your work or your organization.  Looking forward to your next video.

  11. I like your videos. Purely based on scientific research and proving every fact with it. They are very informative!

  12. So real scientist were a problem, because they presented their findings about the health results of various foods. This was of course bad for sales. So they bought scientists to tell them what they wanted to hear. Must be pretty expensive. It is! But consider it a good investment.

    The funny thing I keep wondering about: all those consumers are empowering those companies by buying their products. Why don't they stop doing it?

  13. Did you hear how the Registered Dietitian group accepts millions from meat, processed junk, dairy, soda, and candy bar companies?

    Watch this week’s video below or click the link to watch on

  14. When I first changed to a raw vegan diet, I was severely ill, and I was hospitalized for sepsis. And I continued eating raw vegan when I was in the hospital. I had not one, but two registered dietitians visit me, and said that I would die from eating a raw vegan diet. They said I need meat and dairy in my diet to be healthy… I told both of them to get out, and not come back until they educated themselves… I also left the hospital AMA, every evening to buy food at the health food store, because they were only giving me between 500 to 800 calories of fruit and veggies a day… The nurses supported me, they said you can't live on 500 to 800 calories a day… Where were the registered dietitians? Obviously they were okay with feeding people 500 calories if they don't eat meat and dairy like they were told to…

  15. I'm seeing so much content discrediting various food authorities. I wonder if any references could be made to sources, that are credible, in the area of nutrition?

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