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Junk Food and Junk Advice

Junk Food and Junk Advice
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When you need advice on nutrition and diet, do you want it to come only from nutrition professionals backed by Big Food? Action Alerts!


  • The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the trade group for registered dietitians, is trying once again to establish state-level monopolies over the practice of nutrition.
  • This unfairly excludes other nutrition professionals that are often better qualified than registered dietitians.
  • This power-grab is especially concerning given the well-documented corporate ties linking junk food companies to the AND.

Food and diet are foundational to a healthy, vibrant lifestyle, but it can be difficult to break old habits and start better ones. That’s why many Americans turn to a professional to help them manage these changes—whether it’s to address a medical condition like diabetes or heart disease, to deal with food sensitivities, to improve energy levels, or just become more healthy generally. But what if your only choice was a group of professionals that are on the take from Big Food, Big Ag, and Big Pharma ?

A monopoly over the practice of nutrition has been the goal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) for years. The AND is the trade group for Registered Dietician Nutritionists (RDNs), and for years the AND tried to pass, in as many states as possible, laws stipulating that only RDNs could offer nutrition services.

Now there is a new strategy that is being pursued. Much like the Interstate Compact pursued by the Federation of State Medical Boards to extend their power over the practice of medicine, the AND is now working to get its own Dietitian Interstate Compact passed in as many states as possible.

The goal of the Dietitian Interstate Compact is to make it easier for RDNs to practice in multiple states without going through the process of getting licensed in each individual state. Rather, state legislatures can enact model legislation to enter the Compact; RDNs can then practice in any state that passes the Compact without getting licensed in that state. The Compact must be passed by seven states before it comes into effect.

So far, the Dietitian Compact has only been passed in Nebraska, but there are bills pending in almost a dozen other states.

While this all may sound good, it unfairly excludes other practitioners from licensure, such as Certified Nutrition Specialists, that often have more advanced training than RDNs and employ a different, and probably more valid, approach to nutrition than that of RDNs. Licensure of one group to the exclusion of others has negative impacts on nutrition professionals who aren’t RDNs. For example, it will eliminate nutritionists’ jobs, and it also has insurance implications for laws that only apply to “licensed” health care professionals.

We spoke with Corinne Bush, the CEO of the American Nutrition Association, who told us that “The Compact excludes Certified Nutrition Specialists, fostering a monopolistic environment for those certified by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This effort fails to recognize the ability to address the nation’s chronic disease crisis by including equally qualified nutrition practitioners who possess diverse credentials after completing a rigorous program of education, examination and experience.” 

The Compact could also jeopardize health coaches’ ability to practice for many of the same reasons. This is the opposite of what we should be doing. Many people don’t need pills or special diets—they need help managing their income to fit a healthy lifestyle, advice on where and how to exercise, etc. Eliminating the ability of health coaches to give nutrition advice jeopardizes their ability to continue to help patients with these important but often overlooked aspects of health.

The bottom line: if this Compact gains a head of steam, consumers will have fewer choices when they are looking for someone to help them get healthier. This is unacceptable simply from a philosophical viewpoint (a monopoly is only good for RDNs and the AND, not for consumers) but also due to more practical concerns—the cozy relationship between the AND, RDNs, and mega corporations that make the unhealthy ultra-processed foods and sugar-laden beverages that help make many of us so sick in the first place.

We reported on this conflict of interest in previous years when the AND partnered with Kraft. If you can believe it, Kraft Singles—the “cheese product” popular in school lunches—was the first product to boast the AND’s “Kids Eat Right” label. Perversely, dietitians sponsored by Coca-Cola were outspoken in recommending small cans of soda as snacks.

More recent investigations into the corporate ties of the AND revealed more of the same, demonstrating how the AND accepts millions of dollars from Big Food and Big Pharma, have themselves invested in ultra-processed food and drug companies, and how AND leaders have been employed by or consulted with multinational food and drug companies. Contributors to the AND in past years include a who’s-who of the junk food industry, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, General Mills, Hershey, Kellogg USA, and the National Confectioner’s Association—the trade association for candy-makers.

It should come as no surprise that a 2022 study concluded that the AND has a “symbiotic relationship” with these corporate behemoths and, as such, acts as a “pro-industry voice in some policy venues, and with public positions that clash with AND’s mission to improve health globally.”

Given these extensive corporate ties, do we really want the AND to have MORE power over the practice of nutrition in this country?

Action Alerts! If your state is listed below, click the link to oppose the Dietitian Interstate Compact in your state!

4 thoughts on “Junk Food and Junk Advice

  • Truth59

    As I have a MS in Holistic Nutrition, I have learned never to get my nutrition information from a RD. There are many nutritionists and even doctors schooled in nutrition that will give you much better information.

  • I am a ninety-year-old male veteran USMC &USAF) who adopted the D. Berg regimen and practice the KETO diet every day- I have lost 50 pounds and am more active today than I was 40 years ago. The large social media have muzzled Dr. Berg and others and program their URL’s from appearing under general search criteria; the AMA and other medical and dietary organizations try their best to discredit practitioners of functional medicine who advise their patients on diet and lifestyle changes which can reverse insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. There are many refereed journals who have published articles about the proven results of intermittent fasting and the KETO lifestyle. Only the Rumble social media organization does not limit public access or restrict free speech.

    Thomas Kerns, MPA
    Semper Fi

  • Ken B

    I used to work in a health food store. Occasionally dietitians, or students learning to become dietitians, would enter our store and bad-mouth the supplements we sold because they were not regulated or approved by the FDA. Made me wonder what nonsense was being taught in dietitian school programs.

  • Linda Ferland

    I’ve been a Mother Nature’s advocate & user of alternatives for almost 50 yrs. I would never trust anyone who tried to sell me anything my gut instincts said NO to using/buying! 70s & still healthier than younger friends/family members!

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