Since our inception in February of 2013, we have heard from colleagues around the world who share our concerns, including dietitians in England, Australia, Mexico, and Spain (where they started a similar group this year — “Dietetica Sin Patrocinadores”, or “Dietetics Without Sponsors” — that has garnered plenty of media attention).
Last week, we received an email from one of our dietitian supporters in Greece who expressed concern about the sponsors for next week’s EFAD (European Federation of the Association of Dietitians) conference in Athens.
Let’s first take a look at the event’s sponsors:
- European Hydration Institute (The Coca-Cola Company is a founding partner)
- International Sweeteners Association (“a non-profit making organisation registered under Belgian law representing manufacturers and users of low calorie sweeteners”)
- EUFIC (European Food Information Council; essentially the European parallel to the International Food Information Council in the US, which is a food and beverage industry front group)
- Amita (a line of juices owned by Coca-Cola; according to our Greek colleague, “they are one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world, and also hold the license for Coca-Cola products in Greece.”)
Here are some topics the conference will cover:
1) Satellite Roundtable: Exploring the Benefits of Breakfast
- Breakfast Consumption in Europe: Benefits & Trends
- Breakfast habits, lifestyle and health indices
- Breakfast through breakfast clubs: could this work in your community?
Sponsored by: Kellogg
2) Satellite Lecture: Fruit juice as part of children’s and adult’s diet in Greece and Europe
Sponsored by: Coca-Cola Tria Epsilon and Amita
3) Roundtable: Understanding Sweetness – Translating the Science into Everyday Practice for Dietitians
- Dietitians’ attitudes towards sweetness (results from the DeBATE project)
- Sweetness from historical and social perspective
- What makes certain foods enjoyable? Are there addictive behaviours to food?
Supported by: the European Food Information Council
4) Roundtable: Low calorie sweeteners – A fundamental choice in weight management and diabetes
- Low Calorie Sweeteners and Body Weight
- Appetite for Sweetness and the Role of Low Calorie Sweeteners
- Is there a Benefit of using Low Calorie Sweeteners for people with Chronic Diseases such as Obesity and Diabetes Mellitus? – A Dietitian’s perspective
Supported by: the International Sweeteners Association
If history is to repeat itself the way it always has, a talk on low-calorie sweeteners by the International Sweeteners Association will present them as essential, important, and crucial for weight loss, while simultaneously dismissing any concerns about possible negatively effects on gut flora, satiety, etc.
As for our Greek colleague: they tell us they have already voiced their concerns with the Hellenic Dietetic Association (HDA) about the sponsors on a members-only Facebook page. They also mention that many Greek dietitians have spoken up about this issue and have alerted the HDA President.