Our latest Distinguished Dietitian honoree is Joanne Ikeda, MA, RD.
Learn more about Joanne and her work below.
RD Since: 1972
Area(s) of Practice:
- Childhood & Adolescent Weight Management, Training for health professionals on prevention and treatment.
- Community Collaborative Research – Culturally Sensitive and Relevant Foodways of Minority Populations Living in California
Website/social media links:
Brief professional bio:
Joanne Ikeda, MA, RD, retired from the Nutritional Sciences Department, University of California, Berkeley, in 2007, and the Chancellor granted her the honorary title of Nutritionist Emeritus. As a co- founder of the Center for Weight and Health at UC Berkeley, she has been a leader in designing approaches to the prevention and treatment of obesity that focus on the adoption of healthier lifestyles. She is the author of numerous scientific publications as well as popular articles.
Mrs. Ikeda is currently a paid consultant to the Cartoon Network. From 2007 to 2009, she was Chair of the Pediatric subunit of the Weight Management Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association. She is Vice-President of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. She has been a member of the National Association for Fat Acceptance (NAAFA), the only civil rights organization for fat people, since 1990, and helped found the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) in 2004.
What does ‘professional integrity’ mean to you?
It means doing the right thing even when the right thing might not be advantageous to oneself or one’s organization. Persons with professional integrity recognize potential conflicts of interest and excuse themselves from the decision making arena when there is such a conflict. They do not discriminate against people based on their race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or body size. They understand that people are not motivated by shame and condemnation, but are empowered when they are viewed as capable, dependable, internally motivated, and worthy.
What words of encouragement do you have for RDs-to-be looking to make a significant contribution to our profession?
Stand up for what you believe in, even though others in powerful positions may do everything they can to isolate and silence you. Find allays in people who think the way you do. Don’t walk away even when you are disgusted and discouraged because you can look yourself in the mirror and know you are a person with professional integrity.
What was the worst “conflict of interest” situation that you encountered involving AND?
Some years ago, I attended a session at FNCE on helping clients “jump start” their weight loss using various methods of calorie restriction. The topic of one speaker was “liquid formula diets.” He told us how wonderful these products were in inducing large beginning weight losses. As we left the session, representatives of a company marketing a liquid formula for dieting handed out samples of the product as well as marketing information. I believe they also paid the speaker to appear at the conference and reimbursed his travel expenses. I was furious. The entire session was an advertisement for diet products, none of which resulted in permanent long term weight loss, but no one said a word about this.
Again, we extend our congratulations to Joanne and thank her for her important work and for representing the RD credential in a forward-thinking manner.