Optimize the nation's health through food and nutrition
My issue is that some of these companies are a big reason why RDs are so busy these days. Added sugar in cereals and beverages, highly processed foods and candy bars just some of the many reasons for the growing obesity epidemic in this country. And like I highlighted in a previous post here, some of these companies are even trying to convince us that their high sugar foods are healthy choices! What message does it send to our community when as a profession we say, "Drink less soda, eat more high fiber/low sugar cereals and choose healthy snacks," but then the ADA takes contributions from the companies that profit from these same foods. To me, it undermines our credibility and without credibility can we really accept the title of "nutrition experts"?
I follow Marion Nestle on Twitter and always find some interesting new tweets from her. Last month this tweet popped up. I followed the link to Michele Simon's blog Appetite for Profit. Her post detailed how a RD from Canada, Sybil Hebert, had similar concerns with her professional organization, the Dietitians of Canada. Ms. Hebert's original post is here. In writing about the exact same moral dilemma she says,
How does this affect DC's [Dietitians of Canada] message? How does this make dietitians look? Do you think they can be unbiased and critique the food industry, if they're getting money from it?She wrote a great letter that she sent to the DC and I applaud her efforts!
So where did that leave me as the June 1st deadline approached? After a lot of thinking, I decided to renew my membership for another year. A friend said, "Maybe you can make more change from within an organization rather than just dropping out?" So that is my personal challenge. I'm not going to be a silent observer. I plan to write a similar letter to the ADA that Ms. Hebert wrote to the DC. I'm going to make my voice heard for the next year and I encourage other RDs to do the same if they agree.