Today’s statement of concern comes from Andrew James Pierce, MS, RD, CSCS:
“Although I received my Registered Dietitian credential a few weeks ago, the important concerns addressed by Dietitians for Professional Integrity were on my mind when I was a graduate nutrition student and RD-to-be.
It’s really unfortunate that so many talented and capable individuals passionate about nutrition will follow the RD track with the intention of being regarded as knowledgeable, legitimate professionals, only to be represented by an organization that is not only antiquated and in desperate need of progress, but does business in such a way that is harmful to the reputation of its constituents.
As a newly minted RD, it is disheartening to think of our credential getting dragged through the mud due to these misguided ties with corporate sponsors who do not share the same vision or mission as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Considering how much work and time it took to earn this credential, I want our profession — and us as professionals — to get the respect we deserve, including from our representation.
The current sponsorship model troubles me greatly, but group efforts such as this one give me hope that we can bring change. I encourage AND to focus on progress and allow the profession of dietetics to evolve along with science and keep an open mind to new possibilities for nutrition professionals. Let’s think outside the box. Let’s find better opportunities for continuing education that do not have us relying on Coca-Cola or Hershey’s. Let’s have sessions at our conferences that touch on important food and nutrition issues that make headlines. Let’s not have our conference and expo floor look like a junk food trade show where we “learn” about the “nutritious” offerings of McDonald’s.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics needs to understand that in order to earn the respect we deserve, RDs, along with those who represent them, need to maintain an evidence-based approach that is not influenced by outside objectives or third parties who see us as nothing more than easily-manipulated professionals who can sell their largely unhealthy products to an unsuspecting public.
Let’s take back our credential and give the “RD” acronym after our names meaning and purpose.”