Today’s statement of concern comes from Registered Dietitian-to-be Joanna (last name withheld, per her request):
“As a future registered dietitian, I am deeply concerned by the corporate sponsorships linked to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
When I first heard about the AND I was excited to join, but became confused and disappointed shortly thereafter. I started receiving AND journals and magazines that noted sponsorships by companies I would not endorse personally or professionally. I simply could not understand why advertisements for companies that are selling unhealthy products were appearing next to peer reviewed articles that raised serious concerns about the consumption of such products.
These sponsorships damage the credibility of an organization capable of leading the nation, and the rest of the world, towards better health and a brighter future. Many people do not fully understand the important roles that dietetic professionals can and do play in the realm of health and wellness. These sponsorships by corporations that sell unhealthy foods are just adding to this confusion.
It is our responsibility to educate people on the benefits a registered dietitian can provide to people and allowing these sponsorships is quickly becoming a roadblock to helping people. The AND must realize that when a company’s logo appears as a sponsor, it is, in fact, an endorsement of the unhealthy products they sell.
I would like to be able to proudly proclaim that I am a member of the Academy but that cannot happen as long as companies such as Coca -ola are directly linked to the organization. RDs can help prevent and correct many health issues and diseases and I believe this fact should be a main focus point of the AND. It is unacceptable to allow this type of sponsorship from companies that sell the products that are in large part causing the very problems we are trying to treat.
I urge all dietetic professionals and my fellow dietetic students to remain vocal on this issue for our credibility, for the health of our fellow citizens and most of all for the integrity of our chosen profession.”