The letter below was sent to members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics regarding this past weekend’s House of Delegates meeting.
We’ll share our thoughts — and additional information not covered in this letter — tomorrow.
“To All Members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
The House of Delegates conducted a dialogue on the Academy’s Sponsorship Program on May 2 and 3. As a result of this dialogue, the HOD developed a motion requesting the Academy’s Sponsorship Advisory Task Force develop a plan providing clear direction to the Academy, the Foundation and all organizational units on how best to engage in sponsorship opportunities.
The Sponsorship Advisory Task Force’s report will be presented to the House of Delegates before or at the fall HOD meeting and will be shared with all members. The final plan will be reviewed and approved by the House of Delegates prior to being presented to the Board of Directors.
Key elements identified by the House of Delegates for inclusion in an Academy Sponsorship Plan are:
1. Development of a strategic communications plan that uses diverse strategies for outreach and input. All communications to members need to be clear and concise.
2. The Academy and the Foundation need to be transparent, with details of any agreement with a sponsor or partner fully disclosed. A sponsorship annual report and a web page outlining sponsorship details should be available for members and the public to view.
3. Sponsorship Guidelines should be developed to include the following concepts:
- Academy or Foundation logos will not appear on food or beverage products
- Any potential sponsor’s food or beverage product(s) should meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Opportunities should be provided for engaging smaller companies with sponsorships or partnerships
- Any potential sponsor or partner should support and promote healthy eating, the expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians, registered, and the vision, mission and goals of the Academy
- Details of any agreement with a sponsor or partner need to be fully disclosed
- Member and public input is solicited on potential sponsorship opportunities
- Effects of sponsorship, or lack thereof, on Academy and Foundation programming will be evaluated.
- All Academy organizational units (including the Foundation, DPGs and MIGs) will abide by the Academy’s Sponsorship Guidelines. Affiliates will be encouraged to utilize the Academy’s Sponsorship Guidelines. These Guidelines will be evaluated regularly.
4. The Academy will establish a permanent sponsorship committee. Representation on the committee should include a public member and a member who has served on the Academy’s Ethics Committee.
The draft HOD motion was released today for discussion by delegates. Revisions to this motion will occur over the next two weeks. Voting on a final motion will occur at the end of May. Results of the vote on this motion will be presented in early June. Members are encouraged to review the spring HOD meeting materials, including the consolidated input from the meeting and the motion.
Special thanks to all delegates who participated in this meeting and provided insightful input on this issue on behalf of members.
Elise A. Smith, MA, RDN, LD, FAND, Speaker, House of Delegates
Sonja L. Connor, MS, RDN, LD, FAND, Academy President”