The Frequently Asked Questions page for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ annual conference (FNCE) lists the following question and answer:
“How can I set my company apart from others on the Expo floor?
Eight exhibitors will have the opportunity to make an impact on FNCE attendees by hosting a 20-minute briefing on the Expo floor, providing attendees with continuing education credits. A meeting area that seats 60 will be created on the Expo floor for exhibitors to present scientific and evidence-based topics. Content must be educational in nature, comply with the Academy’s accreditation guidelines, and cannot be a sales pitch.”
Very well, then. Let’s take a look at who is hosting some of these “evidence-based” 20-minute briefings which help RDs earn continuing education credits.
1) ACH Food Companies, Inc., which owns Mazola corn oil, will hold a 30-minute briefing on the healthfulness of corn oil (an oil with one of the least desirable ratios of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids).
2) Dannon will hold a briefing on why yogurt is essentially the best form of dairy and why people need to consume more of it. Something tells us non-dairy yogurts, which are still a cultured food that offers probiotic bacteria, won’t be discussed. Dairy companies generally push yogurt as a perfectly safe food for those with lactose intolerance, while avoiding the fact that some individuals have whey and casein sensitivities, for which dairy yogurt is not a viable food. Despite this fact, most dairy-based yogurt companies love to talk about the benefits of yogurt while pretending that cultured non-dairy milk products are not on the market.
3) An innocuous-sounding expo session titled “Health and Wellness Trends: Using Nutrition Science to Drive Innovation” is actually a briefing which “will demonstrate ways in which the Frito-Lay Research and Development Team has used science to innovate around nutrition in three areas: salt reduction, fat reduction and the addition of whole grains. Specific product development case studies will be utilized, and consumer sensory research discussed.” Healthwashing 101!
4) Another innocuous-sounding expo session titled “Deconstructing Studies: How to Evaluate the Strength of the Science” is presented by the Corn Refiners Association. If it is anything like years past, it will be a 20-minute defense of high fructose corn syrup as a necessary additive that provides “better coloring” and “better flavors” to processed food. The science is clear that added sugar intake in the US is too high and needs to be drastically reduced.