Although our advocacy efforts focus on The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, we recognize that the problem of insidious Big Food partnerships with health organizations is rampant and systemic.
Today, The Huffington Post published this open letter from health policy consultant and New York State Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Alliance co-founder Nancy Huehnergarth to the Presidents of both the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Academy of Pediatrics (which had its conference earlier this week).
Titled “When Will You Stop Taking Money From Junk Food Peddlers?”, the letter expresses dismay that these organizations allow junk food purveyors to be financial sponsors.
In the letter, Huehnergarth also lays out a few suggestions on how these organizations can begin to address and correct these issues:
1. “Meet with concerned members of your organizations and listen.
2. Ban junk food exhibitors from your yearly expos.
3. Identify other possible sponsors to replace junk food manufacturers.
4. Poll your members to determine if they would be amenable to higher yearly dues, in order to eliminate junk food/formula sponsors.
5. Create a task force to review your policy on sponsorships and make recommendations for change.”
Huehnergarth wraps up with this compelling message for the leadership of both of these organizations:
“Americans depend on dietitians and pediatricians for sound nutritional guidance. When your organizations take money from junk food manufacturers it is embarrassing to your members, detrimental to your reputations and harmful to the health of Americans.”