Who Decides What Constitutes Proper Nutrition?

food2Here is an NBC news article discussing links between food industry lobbying and nutrition advice. (How the Food Lobby Affects Nutrition Advice) As we discussed in a previous post (Sugar, Sugar), the impact of food companies on nutritional studies and regulation is both unsettling and unsurprising. As they say, money talks, and food companies have plenty of money. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has close ties with food industries, impacting their nutritional recommendations. (Nutritionists built close ties with the food industry. Now they’re seeking some distance.) Even recommendations to infants and toddlers more often have food companies’ bottom lines in mind rather than the health of children. (Big money spent marketing unhealthy baby, toddler foods)

While there is some hope the new requirements for dieticians to have Master’s degrees in the future (as opposed to Baccalaureate degrees currently required) it seems unlikely that this alone will bring about any change. As long as dieticians are required to register with associations funded by the food industry there is little reason to believe that the level of education of the dietitians will be of any consequence. What is required for there to be any semblance of integrity is for certifying bodies to sever ties with food industries. Nutritionists and dieticians should not be required to promote questionable (or outright false) nutrition information in order to remain certified to practice.