Recently, I cofounded a group called Dietitians for Professional Integrity. Since then, I’ve had a few dietitians tell me how sad they are that I’m part of this group, I guess because they think we are against dietitians. That could not be further from the truth.
And I’ll be honest, I hate confrontation. Hate it. But there is a time to speak up, and that time is now.
Below is my official statement of concern, posted on the DFPI Facebook group today. (You can like our page here) My heart is pounding that this is up, only because I want everyone to know my heart behind it. I want other dietitians to know I’m coming from a genuine place. I want you, my readers, to know I’m standing up for you and your families.
To give you a bit of reference, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) is currently corporately sponsored by big food companies like Coca Cola and McDonalds. Dietitians for Professional Integrity advocates for greater financial transparency, as well as ethical, socially responsible, and relevant corporate sponsorships within the AND.
Basically, we don’t think big food companies have our (or your) best interest at heart, and want AND to cut ties with them.
Here is my statement:
“I want to start by saying that I am FOR challenging the current sponsorship model because I am FOR dietitians. I have always been, and will always be a champion of my profession. Which is why I think some things need to change.
I would like to keep my statement brief because I think the matter is really very simple. These large food companies should have no influence over our profession whether actual or perceived. I have had to prove my professional integrity too many times by assuring and re-assuring clients that I do not promote hyper-processed foods even though my credential is tied to these companies.
And let me just say, this is not about being perfect. I certainly am not. This is also not about forcing unrealistic expectations on others. I meet clients where they are and guide them through whatever it is they are facing. This is about the ethics of tying our profession to an industry that keeps people in a perpetual state of sickness, and then is applauded when they offer up some kind of a health truce like adding sliced apples to their menu.
If AND is to continue to fight the good food fight for our country, we must do so in the best interest of the American people, not Big Food.”
I would love to have a conversation about this. Ask questions, share your concern, disagree (politely please). Let’s talk. This is important.