Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dietitians encourage the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) to "Repeal the Seal"

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the professional association for registered dietitians, generated plenty of unfavorable attention this month when it permitted Kraft Singles (a processed cheese-like product) to be the first food product to carry the "Kids Eat Right" logo.

The arrangement adds fuel to long-standing concerns that the academy is too cozy with corporate sponsors.

There has been ferociously skeptical coverage by John Stewart, Marion Nestle, and even Fox News.

The AND argues that the logo and slogan "Kids Eat Right" were never intended as an endorsement of Kraft's product. Rather, the right to use the logo and slogan is a way of gratefully acknowledging Kraft's financial support for the Academy's work. The Fox News story quoted the Academy's statement:
Kraft is putting the 'Kids Eat Right' logo [on its packaging and] saying Kraft is a proud supporter of Kids Eat Right, not vice versa. The Academy has never endorsed any product, brand or service, and we never will.
Still, I find it hard to believe the Academy really failed to understand that the logo and slogan on the product package would be a valuable marketing asset for Kraft, on a product with no particular nutritional merit relative to many others (fresh fruits and vegetables, for example).

An active movement of dietitians, including the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition (HEN) working group and Dietitians for Professional Integrity, has been seeking to reform the professional association (sentence edited 4:45pm). Some dietitians have circulated a petition at If you are a registered dietitian, consider whether the petition deserves your support.

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