Today’s statement of concern comes from Nancy Bennett, RD:
“I joined the Dietitians for Professional Integrity Facebook group because I realized that dietitians’ brand is in serious jeopardy.
Our brand — that is, the value we bring to the medical community and marketplace — is in question in part because of the affiliations AND has created with food industry giants. It is baffling to me that our organization, which touts itself as THE expert in healthy nutrition, would form alliances with the likes of Mars & Hershey’s.
Recently, the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (CAND) sent all RDs in California its annual meeting agenda & registration in a newsletter. Their conference, entitled “Dietitians on a Mission for Balance”, will be held in April. Guess who is one of their corporate sponsors? Does “I’m Loving It” ring a bell?
I was so disturbed by this that I brought their newsletter into work & asked my professional colleagues (social workers, RN’s, MFT’s) what they thought of McDonald’s advertising in the CDA newsletter. Some of their responses included “Why would they do that to themselves?” “They are opening themselves up to mockery…” “Looks like they have sold out for the highest bidder.”
I would very much like to ask CAND AND why they are shooting themselves in the proverbial foot with these types of corporate sponsors. Don’t they understand that this tarnishes our brand?
My wake-up call regarding the quality of our brand came when Medicare made the decision to grant MDs, NPs (Nurse Practitioners) & PAs (Physician Assistants) the ability to bill for obesity counseling, but not RDs. This decision spoke volumes to me regarding our brand within the medical community.
I have been a RD now for +36 years and I doubt I will renew my AND membership. They need to hear the wake-up call from their membership before they are crushed by the stampede of RD’s leaving their organization.”