Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Call-To-Action For The RD2Be: The Future of Dietetics

Wow, what a fire that has been lit under the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and during National Nutrition Month nonetheless!

For those of you that have not heard, last week it was announced that Kraft Singles would now be sporting the Kids Eat Right logo on their packaging. While the Academy states this is to show Kraft's support of the program, people are seeing it as the other way around. 

And many dietitians are not happy.

Actually, this is a gross understatement! Many dietitians are enraged and embarrassed by this partnership, which the Academy failed to run by its members...

The Academy has been scrutinized for years because of their "corporate sponsorships," that many see as conflicts of interest (like McDonald's sponsoring the 2014 California Dietetics Association Annual Meeting.) 

Now with a stunt like this, we are definitely digging ourselves into a bigger hole...

I was once one of those people..
who believed the Academy and dietitians were just another corrupted system, catering to BIG Food companies and endorsing whoever would fund their paychecks. 

And after not getting matched for an internship my senior year of college, I was so close to abandoning my years of working towards a RD to instead become a CCN (certified clinical nutritionist.) After all, CCN's are more focused on holistic nutrition anyway, which is what I advocate for. 

I was about to turn my back on the Academy forever. I did not want to deal with this (steadily growing) tarnished reputation. I did not want to have to face the repercussions for what other RD's before me had created...

But then I began finding dietitians that DO advocate for what I believe in. Ones that ALSO weren't happy with the Academy and its image. My opinions began to change... 

I decided to give it one more shot with the second round of internship matching (if you need clarification on this whole process, feel free to ask.. I will be glad to explain!) I thought, "If I get an internship, I will take it as a sign from God that this IS the route I'm suppose to go! If not, I will do the CCN."

And wouldn't you know it, I got accepted into my current program where I am completing my Master's in Health Communications and dietetic internship. I love every, single moment of it and now I could not imagine doing anything else! 

I am SO glad I decided to continue on this path of becoming an RD! Would it have been easier to just abandon ship and leave the Academy to sink (so to speak.) Yes! But what good would it do if everyone just decided to take the easy route and give up? Revolution would never happen!

So, instead of joining the scrutiny, I will try to change what I do not agree with!

This is exactly what I encourage you to do!! 

Whether a dietetic student or a current professional. If there is something happening you don't like, don't just complain about it. Try to change it!!

One of the missions of National Nutrition Month is to advocate for the profession! This is our job and this is how we do it!

I can tell there is a new era of dietetics on the horizon and I am so excited to see so many young professionals getting fire up about things like this (it shows they care!) 

But, we need to keep this fire going! These changes will not happen overnight. It will be baby steps.

Fellow RD2Be's, WE are the future of the profession and of the Academy! It will be what WE make of it!! 



What is your opinion of the Academy's corporate sponorships?

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