This excerpt from Nutritionism: The Science and Politics of Dietary Advice by Gyorgy Scrinis touches on the many ways in which the food industry misleads the public and co-opts nutrition science.
Not surprisingly, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is mentioned:
“Food companies have become increasingly active in directly funding scientific studies into particular foods or nutrients conducted by university-based researchers. Some reviews of these industry-funded studies have found that they are, on average, more likely to publish favorable findings for the nutrient or food under investigation, thereby lending support for the industry sponsor’s products.
These more favorable studies may have been used as scientific substantiation to support a food company’s submission to regulatory agencies for approval for health claims, such as Quaker’s funding of studies on the health benefits of oats described earlier. These studies may also be referred to directly in advertisements for food products.
Food companies also seek to influence expert dietary advice in other ways, such as by funding nutrition and public health organizations or university departments. For example, the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the British Nutrition Foundation accept funding from food corporations.”
Also note how the examples of Big Food questionable behavior all involve the Academy’s partners (Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, etc.).