The American Dietetic Association is the largest food and nutrition organization in the US. They are supposed to be the premier source for accurate nutritional information. Current memberships exceed 70,000 people, so the ADA voice is loud, but it’s not a reliable, unbiased source of information on good nutrition.
The ADA and the Food Industry
The problems at the ADA stem from the fact that they receive funding from some of the biggest processed food and nutritional product corporations. Take a look at some of the companies that either fund the ADA or write Nutrition Facts sheets for them:
- Hershey’s Corporation
- ConAgra Foods
- Abbott Nutritionals
- General Mills
- Mars, Inc
- Monsanto Corporation
- Nutrasweet, makers of Aspartame
- National Association of Margarine Manufacturers
These are all companies that depend on the US agricultural industry to stay in business, which means they depend on sugar, wheat, soy, corn and canola subsidies, and market share for processed foods. And you can bet the ADA supports the US agricultural complex and market with every press release and position paper.
Despite the volumes of evidence implicating a high carbohydrate, whole grain diet in the growing problems of obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease in the United States, the American Dietetic Association continues to tout the “healthy whole grains” message, and to warn people away from saturated fats, even though there is no scientific basis for the hypothesis that saturated fats and cholesterol levels have anything to do with heart disease.
The American Dietetic Association is stuck on a 1970s nutritional program, handing out bad advice because they have joined hands with the processed food industry, and they can’t bite the corporate hands that feed them. In her book, Food Politics, Marion Nestle, a Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, wrote:
“The ADA’s stance on dietary advice is firmly pro-industry; one of its basic tenets is that there is no such thing as good or bad food. The Association is apparently willing to enter into partnerships with any food company or trade organization, regardless of the nutritional quality of its products.”
In a post she wrote for the Daily Green website, Ms. Nestle responded to criticism from a registered dietitian who took her to task for not promoting the ADA (a kind of “we should all just get along” plea) with this scathing note:
“Respected ADA colleagues: as long as your organization partners with makers of food and beverage products, its opinions about diet and health will never be believed independent (translation: based on science, not politics) and neither will yours. Consider the ADA’s Nutrition Fact Sheets, for example, each with its very own corporate sponsor (scroll down to the lower right-hand corner of the second page to see who paid for the Facts). Is the goal of ADA really the same as the goal of the sponsors – to sell the sponsor’s food products? Is this a good way to get important scientific messages to the public?
The ADA Zealots
The fact that I find most appalling about the American Dietetic Association is that they are zealots and take the position of demi-gods on the subject of nutrition.
They are determined to be the only voice speaking about nutrition, even if most of what they speak is tainted by corporate interests. They actively campaign against other nutritional organizations with different messages and do their best to change the laws in every state so that any nutrition professional who wants to teach a holistic, alternative view of nutrition won’t be able to practice nutrition counseling.
Just recently, the ADA has changed its name to the “Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics” which seems to be a calculated move to position themselves as “nutritionists” as well. See this article in Forbes Magazine for more information on the underhanded tactics the ADA/AND is using to shut out alternative views on nutrition.
Meanwhile, Americans are becoming sick and dying every day because they believe the lies that the ADA and USDA spout about healthy foods.
And if you want to study nutrition and become a Registered Dietitian, you had better follow the American Dietetic Association party line. There are NO accredited programs in the United States that teach an alternate view of what constitutes good nutrition. All dietitians are steeped in the “low fat, healthy whole grains, carbs are essential nutrients” dogma.
There are schools offering alternative views, but they can’t get accredited by the US Department of Education unless they follow the official USDA pyramid teachings, and The Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education, which provides RD licensing won’t license you unless you studied a course accredited by the CADE. How convenient for the ADA.
Who wants to spend $30,000 dollars on a degree which won’t be counted to get you a license to practice nutrition counseling?
On their website, the ADA writes:
“Only graduates of CADE-accredited programs are eligible to take the exam to become a Registered Dietitian or Dietetic Technician, Registered. Individuals who only have degrees in nutrition, dietetics or other related areas from programs that are not CADE-accredited are NOT ELIGIBLE to take the exam to become a Registered Dietitian or Dietetic Technician, Registered. Several programs that are NOT accredited by CADE include:
- American InterContinental University
- Ashford University
- Ashworth College
- Capella University
- Hawthorn University
- Huntington College of Health Sciences
- Jones International University
- Kaplan University
- National American University
- University of Phoenix
These schools offer nutritional courses that teach different views on nutrition. So not only does the ADA lie to the American public, but it also tries to silence any other dissenting voices. They ought to be ashamed of themselves, especially given what their code of ethics states:
“The dietetic practitioner promotes or endorses products in a manner that is neither false or misleading. The dietetics practitioner provides full disclosure when a real or potential conflict of interest arises.”
Right, the American Dietetic Association doesn’t mislead the American public – think again.