Busted: Dietitians Scheme to Stifle Competition

File this under As If We Didn’t Know:

Awhile back I wrote about the dietitians who went after blogger Steve Cooksey for giving out dietary advice without a license.  They claim it was to protect the public.  I claim they’re full of it.  Their only interest is in protecting themselves.

Now Forbes magazine has published a follow-up article based on internal documents circulated within the American Dietetic Association, which someone leaked to Michael Ellsberg, a writer for Forbes.  Here’s part of what he wrote:

In these newly-available internal documents, which I quote and outline at length in this article, the American Dietetic Association:

  • Openly discusses creating and using state boards of dietetics/nutrition (including in NC and in every other state in the union) for the express purpose of limiting market competition for its Registered Dietitian members.
  • Openly discusses a nation-wide plan of surveilling and reporting private citizens, and particularly all competitors on the market for nutrition counseling, for “harming the public” by providing nutrition information/advice/counseling without a license—through exactly the same means by which Cooksey was reported to the NC Board. Again, for the explicit purpose of limiting marketplace competition.

After summarizing his original article about the attempt to stifle Cooksey, Ellsberg continues:

In the wake of that original article, I received an email from Judy Stone, Executive Director of the Michigan Nutrition Association, a coalition of Michigan nutrition consumers and practitioners. The subject line of her email to me was “ADA Smoking Gun Document. Naturally, I was intrigued.

Stone showed me a new internal document which had just been leaked to her from someone from within the ADA. This new document was far more detailed than the one I had access to when I wrote the last article. In the new document Stone showed me, the ADA openly strategizes on how to create NC-like licensure laws and dietetics boards across all 50 states, for the express purpose of limiting competition.

With this new document, there is now direct evidence linking the ADA’s stated desire to limit competition, to their legislative action (about which the ADA lies to the public, by saying the laws they are creating and lobbying for are designed to protect public safety, not limit competition.)

(Stone told me: “The ADA has not just angered non-dietetics nutrition professionals, but its own members as well, many of whom simply don’t want to be associated with this kind of power-grabbing under the guise of protecting the public. Willingness to share incriminating internal documents is one of the only ways for those members to effect change in their trade organization run amuck,” alluding to  additional documents she has ready to share.)

I’m glad to hear there are some ADA members who are troubled by this kind of nonsense.  Too often members of trade organizations seem determined to prove economist Milton Friedman’s observation that people have a limitless capacity to believe that whatever benefits them personally also benefits society as a whole.

The document opens boldly: the purpose of the document is to help allow “the profession of dietetics to be identified as the preferred and qualified provider of nutrition services.”

Preferred is a nice weasel word.  I sell a software program to law firms, and I’d certainly prefer they not buy from my competitors.  But I’m not out to prohibit them from preferring a competitor’s product.

The internal document then goes into what can only be described as a tirade against competitors:

“There is a proliferation of nutrition-related titles and credentials available to individuals seeking a foothold in the field. . . . Many aggressively challenge the notion that dietitians should have practice exclusivity outside of the clinical setting, and they continue pushing legislative initiatives that allow use of the “nutritionist” title and permit them to perform holistic and other nutritional counseling.”

The ADA further bemoans that. . .

“As government funding for preventative care and wellness increases and private insurers continue expanding clinical coverage to include visits to nutrition professionals, there will likely be a concomitant growth in the number of competitor health care professionals willing to provide some form of nutritional counseling. . . . Registered Dietitians and Dietetic Technicians, Registered (DTRs) face a significant competitive threat in the provision of various dietetic and nutrition services.”

All of this is particularly bad, the professional association says internally, because:

“State affiliates [chapters of the ADA] have experienced organized opposition to licensure in all states in which current laws have been proposed. Grassroot opposition has been focused on the American Dietetic Association and has included arguments that dietitians lack preparation to delivery wellness and nutrition care outside of the hospital setting, that licensure creates a monopoly and restricts freedom of choice of provider by the public, creates job loss for non-RDs providers. . . and that licensure requires those who practice to be members of ADA (Appendix A). Rather than respond individually to these media campaigns, ADA can achieve a position of strength by developing and executing an initiative that supports licensure and the dietetics profession while adding member value. [Emphasis added]”

Notice the focus on “adding member value.” NOT “protecting the public” or “ensuring public safety” but “adding member value.” Again, spoken like a true professional association.

So far, the ADA is acting like pretty much every other professional association in existence: it wants special laws passed, conferring special rights and privileges on its members, for the express and primary purpose or limiting competitors and upstarts. Nothing new under the sun.

But here’s where it starts to get truly kooky.

The ADA, in this freshly-leaked document analyzed here, outlines a detailed policy of surveilling and reporting citizens who provide nutrition advice publicly, under state dietetics laws, for the primary purpose of maintaining, justifying, and strengthening the laws themselves:

“States generally require that someone file a complaint before an investigation into a violation can be opened; the complaint process is integral to aggressive enforcement of dietitian licensing acts. Because all too often state dietetics boards receive few (or no) complaints alleging violations, one is led to conclude either that (a) few, if any, violations are occurring in these states and licensing is not necessary or (b) violations are occurring, but are not being reported. If the latter scenario is accurate, dietitians and others benefitting from licensure must be more vigilant in identifying and reporting violations.”

The document says it plain and clear: the reason to surveil and report citizens who provide public nutrition advice (people like Steve Cooksey) is not that there’s any evidence that these citizens actually harm the public. Rather, the reason to surveil and report citizens like Cookey is that doing so is necessary to maintain licensure laws (which were designed by the ADA explicitly to limit market competition.)

Okay, you get the idea.  I’d suggest you read the rest of the Forbes article to get the full sense of what’s going on.  The ADA clearly wants to limit competition, but they’re smart enough to pitch the scheme to legislators as a means of protecting the public, even though nobody in the public is asking to be protected from unlicensed nutrition advisers.

So who should protect the public when it comes to nutrition advice?  Here’s a wacky idea:  let the public protect themselves.  Even without licensing laws, consumers have a habit of rewarding providers who do good work.  One of the subcontractors who did renovation work on our house wasn’t licensed.  But he was clearly more competent than the licensed subcontractor he replaced, so we brought him back for a number of jobs.

If people like Steve Cooksey, Mark Sisson, Jimmy Moore, Robb Wolf, Sean Croxton or Yours Truly give nutrition and health advice that works, we’ll draw loyal fans, customers, clients … whatever you want to call the people who reward our efforts.  If we give advice that doesn’t work, people looking to improve their health will go elsewhere.  That’s how it works in a world of wide-open competition.

And that’s what scares the hell out of the American Dietetic Association.

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80 thoughts on “Busted: Dietitians Scheme to Stifle Competition

  1. Phocion Timon

    Welcome to our brave new world of ObambiCare and our tax money being given to those pandering to our “leaders.” (I won’t dwell on those “leaders” that will themselves pocket the tax money.)

    Reply
  2. Firebird7478

    DrE wrote:

    “An educated patient is an engaged patient and there is where we will make real progress towards health.”

    The problem is, a lot of doctors don’t want an educated patient, but rather, an obedient one.

    Reply
  3. Marilyn

    @Firebird: “And the elderly have drivers licenses. Doesn’t mean they should drive.”

    I know I’m taking this discussion off topic a bit, but I need to respond. I’m not sure what the definition of “elderly” is here — 65? 80? 100? — but my hunch is that if one were to take a look at statistics of serious or fatal accidents, most of them would not be caused by “elderly” folks.

    I believe Firebird was making a joke, but your point is taken. The worst drivers statistically are teens.

    Reply
  4. Marilyn

    @Firebird: “And the elderly have drivers licenses. Doesn’t mean they should drive.”

    I know I’m taking this discussion off topic a bit, but I need to respond. I’m not sure what the definition of “elderly” is here — 65? 80? 100? — but my hunch is that if one were to take a look at statistics of serious or fatal accidents, most of them would not be caused by “elderly” folks.

    I believe Firebird was making a joke, but your point is taken. The worst drivers statistically are teens.

    Reply
  5. Paul L in MA

    Good to see Ellsberg quoting Milton Friedman’s _Capitalism and Freedom!_ Coincidentally I’m rereading that book right now. The recent PPACA decision put me in the mood to do that. I don’t know if it’s consolation to read some common sense or further depressing me to see that nothing has changed in fifty years.

    Well, change is coming … but we may not like it much.

    Reply
  6. Christopher

    I commented on a previous post about my co-worker who asked me ‘what does biology have anything to do with nutrition and being healthy’. Looks like, by your responce, our thoughts on that matter are pretty in tune. But that brings up a good point. Think about it. Even in High-school, the lessons contridict themselves dramatically, the biggest of these being the sciences vs Health. If even in high-schools, kids are being taught in biology that proteins don’t break down to sugars, and sugar intake cause diabetes, then Health flips it by saying too much fats and proteins are among the biggest contributors to diabetes, you have to wonder what these ‘licenced nutritionists’ have been taught about the subject. I feel like I need to write my own paper on this, explaining the biology in nutrition, but lack the motivation as most people aren’t going to read one single blog-post from a random guy on the internet. Oh well, I could always print it and hand them out at the highschool next year. See what happens. Should be a hoot

    Some people tend to synthesize information, while others compartmentalize it. Those who compartmentalize are not as likely to notice that what they’re taught in one subject contradicts what they were taught in another.

    Reply
  7. Lucy

    Pretty incredible. My co-worker (who just finished her “5 Day Cereal Diet” and is now on day 2 of her “Low Fat” diet) thinks all the information Diabetics need is given by their doctor. She refuses to believe we’re not given proper information. I’ve argued the fact with her but in her mind, what am I (someone who didn’t even finish high school) compared to someone with a degree.

    This information is more proof.

    Good Work!

    I used to assume doctors were trained in nutrition as well. Then I talked to doctors.

    Reply
  8. Paul L in MA

    Good to see Ellsberg quoting Milton Friedman’s _Capitalism and Freedom!_ Coincidentally I’m rereading that book right now. The recent PPACA decision put me in the mood to do that. I don’t know if it’s consolation to read some common sense or further depressing me to see that nothing has changed in fifty years.

    Well, change is coming … but we may not like it much.

    Reply
  9. Christopher

    I commented on a previous post about my co-worker who asked me ‘what does biology have anything to do with nutrition and being healthy’. Looks like, by your responce, our thoughts on that matter are pretty in tune. But that brings up a good point. Think about it. Even in High-school, the lessons contridict themselves dramatically, the biggest of these being the sciences vs Health. If even in high-schools, kids are being taught in biology that proteins don’t break down to sugars, and sugar intake cause diabetes, then Health flips it by saying too much fats and proteins are among the biggest contributors to diabetes, you have to wonder what these ‘licenced nutritionists’ have been taught about the subject. I feel like I need to write my own paper on this, explaining the biology in nutrition, but lack the motivation as most people aren’t going to read one single blog-post from a random guy on the internet. Oh well, I could always print it and hand them out at the highschool next year. See what happens. Should be a hoot

    Some people tend to synthesize information, while others compartmentalize it. Those who compartmentalize are not as likely to notice that what they’re taught in one subject contradicts what they were taught in another.

    Reply
  10. Lucy

    Pretty incredible. My co-worker (who just finished her “5 Day Cereal Diet” and is now on day 2 of her “Low Fat” diet) thinks all the information Diabetics need is given by their doctor. She refuses to believe we’re not given proper information. I’ve argued the fact with her but in her mind, what am I (someone who didn’t even finish high school) compared to someone with a degree.

    This information is more proof.

    Good Work!

    I used to assume doctors were trained in nutrition as well. Then I talked to doctors.

    Reply
  11. LCNana

    Tom, sort of related is this: neighbour who’s a low fat nut informed me last night that she’s lost 12 lbs on a “ketogenic diet.” I was happy for her and was all set to discuss the benefits of fat! But no, her so called ketogenic diet comes in a ready-made-meal package – is low-fat, high protein, and wow she can eat all the veggies she wants – as long as there’s no butter on them.

    Just as we suspected there is no escape from big “whatever” – they’re covering ALL the bases. This poor woman can now have her low fat cake and eat her protein too.

    Tom, maybe it is a conspiracy!!

    Yeesh … does she even check for ketones? I’d bet not.

    Reply
  12. LCNana

    Tom, sort of related is this: neighbour who’s a low fat nut informed me last night that she’s lost 12 lbs on a “ketogenic diet.” I was happy for her and was all set to discuss the benefits of fat! But no, her so called ketogenic diet comes in a ready-made-meal package – is low-fat, high protein, and wow she can eat all the veggies she wants – as long as there’s no butter on them.

    Just as we suspected there is no escape from big “whatever” – they’re covering ALL the bases. This poor woman can now have her low fat cake and eat her protein too.

    Tom, maybe it is a conspiracy!!

    Yeesh … does she even check for ketones? I’d bet not.

    Reply
  13. Hitssquad

    @Tom “The worst drivers statistically are teens.”

    This is an interesting graph:
    http://www.iihs.org/Renderers/ShowMedia.ashx?i=MediaArchive:8eed877d-a9c8-498f-bf1b-efe28667c07c

    The title is this: “Passenger vehicle fatal crash involvements per 100 million miles traveled by driver age, 2008”

    It’s from this page:
    http://www.iihs.org/research/fatality.aspx?topicName=Olderpeople

    The report explains: “The increased fatal crash risk among older drivers is largely due to their increased susceptibility to injury, particularly chest injuries, and medical complications, rather than an increased tendency to get into crashes. 2”

    “2 Li, G.; Braver, E.R.; and Chen, L.H. 2003. Fragility versus excessive crash involvement as determinants of high death rates per vehicle-mile of travel among older drivers. Accident Analysis and Prevention 35:227-35.”

    Maybe if they had better diets, they wouldn’t be so frail.

    It will be interesting to see how those statistics change as baby-boomers become elderly drivers.

    Insurers keep the best stats on who actually causes car wrecks, since they pay for the damage:

    http://www.insurance.com/auto-insurance/safety/teens-or-seniors-who-are-our-worst-drivers.aspx

    Reply
  14. Brandon

    The repercussions of this are simply delicious to think about! (I smell blood in the water, and I’m all ‘riled’ up)

    This should probably make people more open to alternative nutrition advice (like lchf) and probably hurt their own message in the process, am I right?

    It at least helps if people understand what these organizations are all about.

    Reply
  15. Joseph Crowe

    I wanted to respond to johnny who said:
    “The ADA, like the AMA and many others know their economics. Restrict supply and you can charge monopoly prices without government regulation.

    Not only are they fleecing the public and misallocating limited economic resources, they give ammunition to the cretins that come back stating that they are an example why capitalism does not work.”

    There is a slight misunderstanding here. The only reason a monopoly can exist is through government regulation. No such thing as a natural monopoly has ever existed in the history of humankind. The whole purpose of liscensing of any profession is to limit the marketplace to approved providers. This actually includes much more than the AMA and the ADA…..every healthcare profession has similar monopolies in place and tons of interested parties who benefit pushing the practice. So, when johnny says that “you can charge monopoly prices without government regulation” we have a non sequitur. In a true free market, people pushing the ADA’s standard American diet would be out of business as soon as people realized how FoS their advice was. People, intellectual precision counts…..

    Peace out

    Reply
  16. Hitssquad

    @Tom “The worst drivers statistically are teens.”

    This is an interesting graph:
    http://www.iihs.org/Renderers/ShowMedia.ashx?i=MediaArchive:8eed877d-a9c8-498f-bf1b-efe28667c07c

    The title is this: “Passenger vehicle fatal crash involvements per 100 million miles traveled by driver age, 2008”

    It’s from this page:
    http://www.iihs.org/research/fatality.aspx?topicName=Olderpeople

    The report explains: “The increased fatal crash risk among older drivers is largely due to their increased susceptibility to injury, particularly chest injuries, and medical complications, rather than an increased tendency to get into crashes. 2”

    “2 Li, G.; Braver, E.R.; and Chen, L.H. 2003. Fragility versus excessive crash involvement as determinants of high death rates per vehicle-mile of travel among older drivers. Accident Analysis and Prevention 35:227-35.”

    Maybe if they had better diets, they wouldn’t be so frail.

    It will be interesting to see how those statistics change as baby-boomers become elderly drivers.

    Insurers keep the best stats on who actually causes car wrecks, since they pay for the damage:

    http://www.insurance.com/auto-insurance/safety/teens-or-seniors-who-are-our-worst-drivers.aspx

    Reply
  17. Brandon

    The repercussions of this are simply delicious to think about! (I smell blood in the water, and I’m all ‘riled’ up)

    This should probably make people more open to alternative nutrition advice (like lchf) and probably hurt their own message in the process, am I right?

    It at least helps if people understand what these organizations are all about.

    Reply
  18. Joseph Crowe

    I wanted to respond to johnny who said:
    “The ADA, like the AMA and many others know their economics. Restrict supply and you can charge monopoly prices without government regulation.

    Not only are they fleecing the public and misallocating limited economic resources, they give ammunition to the cretins that come back stating that they are an example why capitalism does not work.”

    There is a slight misunderstanding here. The only reason a monopoly can exist is through government regulation. No such thing as a natural monopoly has ever existed in the history of humankind. The whole purpose of liscensing of any profession is to limit the marketplace to approved providers. This actually includes much more than the AMA and the ADA…..every healthcare profession has similar monopolies in place and tons of interested parties who benefit pushing the practice. So, when johnny says that “you can charge monopoly prices without government regulation” we have a non sequitur. In a true free market, people pushing the ADA’s standard American diet would be out of business as soon as people realized how FoS their advice was. People, intellectual precision counts…..

    Peace out

    Reply
  19. Marilyn

    LCNana, I’m not sure this is a conspiracy. It looks like just plain ol’ marketing — much in the same way as all those “low-carb” products flooded the market some years ago. Never mind that a ketogenic diet is in reality little different from Atkins induction, “ketogenic” is apparently the latest magic by which one will lose weight effortlessly. But any savvy marketer who wants those handy ready-made “ketogenic” meals to hop right off the shelves into peoples’ grocery carts knows that the average person who wants to lose weight is NOT going to buy a product that isn’t “low-fat.” 🙂

    Reply
  20. Firebird7478

    @ Marilyn, it was a joke. I was making a point. Both parents, now in their early-mid 70s, no longer drive. My Mom recognized she couldn’t when she was still in her late 60s. My father on the other hand, had to have it take away because he was a menace on the road. So, please, lighten up.

    We can look at statistics all we want. Of all the blogs out there, I figured this one would be the one that would be the least concerned with statistics.

    In my n=1, I had a spotless driving record as a teen.

    I wish I’d had a spotless record as a teen. I managed to lose control of my mom’s car on a rainy day and veer into a ditch. That’s a phone call home you don’t want to make.

    Reply
  21. Marilyn

    LCNana, I’m not sure this is a conspiracy. It looks like just plain ol’ marketing — much in the same way as all those “low-carb” products flooded the market some years ago. Never mind that a ketogenic diet is in reality little different from Atkins induction, “ketogenic” is apparently the latest magic by which one will lose weight effortlessly. But any savvy marketer who wants those handy ready-made “ketogenic” meals to hop right off the shelves into peoples’ grocery carts knows that the average person who wants to lose weight is NOT going to buy a product that isn’t “low-fat.” 🙂

    Reply
  22. Firebird7478

    @ Marilyn, it was a joke. I was making a point. Both parents, now in their early-mid 70s, no longer drive. My Mom recognized she couldn’t when she was still in her late 60s. My father on the other hand, had to have it take away because he was a menace on the road. So, please, lighten up.

    We can look at statistics all we want. Of all the blogs out there, I figured this one would be the one that would be the least concerned with statistics.

    In my n=1, I had a spotless driving record as a teen.

    I wish I’d had a spotless record as a teen. I managed to lose control of my mom’s car on a rainy day and veer into a ditch. That’s a phone call home you don’t want to make.

    Reply
  23. Tony Dickson

    I misread Dr E’s comment at first and thought it said “An educated patient is an enraged patient.” I guess they both work. 😉

    Reply
  24. Tony Dickson

    I misread Dr E’s comment at first and thought it said “An educated patient is an enraged patient.” I guess they both work. 😉

    Reply
  25. Jamin

    I’m surprised that they didn’t invoke the “protect the children” clause as well. That always seems to play well with the media and legislators! Then, they will trot out a poor (which mass media seems to equate with dumb and exploitable as well) family who was somehow harmed by bad diet advice to prove their point.

    This is an old playbook (although, unfortunately, quite effective)!

    Now that you mention it, I’m surprised they didn’t try that one. If you want to violate someone’s Constitutional rights, “It’s for the children!” is usually in the playbook.

    Reply
  26. Jamin

    I’m surprised that they didn’t invoke the “protect the children” clause as well. That always seems to play well with the media and legislators! Then, they will trot out a poor (which mass media seems to equate with dumb and exploitable as well) family who was somehow harmed by bad diet advice to prove their point.

    This is an old playbook (although, unfortunately, quite effective)!

    Now that you mention it, I’m surprised they didn’t try that one. If you want to violate someone’s Constitutional rights, “It’s for the children!” is usually in the playbook.

    Reply
  27. Erica Nehrling

    Why not stifle competition from people who are not properly educated to dispense the most recent research on nutrition.

    [Because who is and is not “properly educated” will be determined by politicians and the trade organizations who bribe them, not by the actual knowledge acquired. Licensing laws are nearly always pushed by trade organizations looking to stifle competition, not by the public.]

    If you think dietitians should not have liscensure, then neither should physical therapists or doctors. Are you okay with that? It would make it very hard for the public to find a doctor that is accurately trained.

    [Yes, actually, I am fine with that. As long as doctors or therapists don’t claim to have degrees they didn’t earn or training they don’t actually have, I’m perfectly fine with self-trained individuals offering advice. Licensing doesn’t ensure quality. I trust the public to base their decisions on results and reputations.]

    Also, much of the public doesn’t understand how much schooling a dietitian goes through and how little schooling someone needs to name themselves a “nutrition expert”. However, there will be a big difference between the advice. Nutrition advice should be based off valid, peer-reviewed research, not anecdotal information or opinions. If there is a “nutrition expert” that is giving peer-reviewed research information, go for it. But I prefer them to have the proper credentials.

    [Yes, nutrition advice should be based on research. But since much of the garbage coming out of nutritionists’ mouths isn’t actually based on research, that’s not a point in their favor.]

    Both the medical and nutrition field dispense new information all the time that contradicts prior conceptions.

    [I guess that explains why doctors and nutritionists are still warning about arterycloggingsaturatedfat! and promoting hearthealthywholegrains! in spite of the fact that neither bit of advice holds up to research.]

    But that is why the education and liscensure is so important. Dietitians (and doctors) learn in their schooling how to find valid peer-reviewed research. If they get a masters, they learn even more about study models, statistical models, and all the other aspects of a journal article that tell you if you can trust it or not.

    [Dietitians and doctors learn how to parrot what they’re told in classes, according to the doctors and dietitians I’ve met personally. Meanwhile, it isn’t necessary to attend a school to learn how to find valid research or to evaluate the validity of a study.]

    I saw on the AND (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) website an article about metabolism and weight loss that essentially said that people that eat under 1000 calories in a day have a drop in metabolism. All gold-standard doubly labeled water research has shown this not to be true and that metabolism is the same between everyone correcting for height, weight, gender, and lean body mass. But dietitians were trained in school that metabolism can be affected by how much people eat. I believe that being taught the wrong thing is not a dietitian’s fault; however, not reading up and learning new research is a dieitian’s fault. But that goes for doctors too.

    [You’re citing an example of dietitians being given wrong information in school to bolster your argument that credentials matter?]

    In addition: dieitians are generally NOT reimbursable through insurance. Insurance covers 3 sessions a year for renal disease, diabetes, and gestational diabetes. And that’s it.

    I would never go to a “nutritionist” that doesn’t have the proper credentials.

    [Good for you. I’d never go to a “nutritionist” who received an education in a program that was funded by Kellogg’s or General Mills.]

    Reply
  28. Erica Nehrling

    Why not stifle competition from people who are not properly educated to dispense the most recent research on nutrition.

    [Because who is and is not “properly educated” will be determined by politicians and the trade organizations who bribe them, not by the actual knowledge acquired. Licensing laws are nearly always pushed by trade organizations looking to stifle competition, not by the public.]

    If you think dietitians should not have liscensure, then neither should physical therapists or doctors. Are you okay with that? It would make it very hard for the public to find a doctor that is accurately trained.

    [Yes, actually, I am fine with that. As long as doctors or therapists don’t claim to have degrees they didn’t earn or training they don’t actually have, I’m perfectly fine with self-trained individuals offering advice. Licensing doesn’t ensure quality. I trust the public to base their decisions on results and reputations.]

    Also, much of the public doesn’t understand how much schooling a dietitian goes through and how little schooling someone needs to name themselves a “nutrition expert”. However, there will be a big difference between the advice. Nutrition advice should be based off valid, peer-reviewed research, not anecdotal information or opinions. If there is a “nutrition expert” that is giving peer-reviewed research information, go for it. But I prefer them to have the proper credentials.

    [Yes, nutrition advice should be based on research. But since much of the garbage coming out of nutritionists’ mouths isn’t actually based on research, that’s not a point in their favor.]

    Both the medical and nutrition field dispense new information all the time that contradicts prior conceptions.

    [I guess that explains why doctors and nutritionists are still warning about arterycloggingsaturatedfat! and promoting hearthealthywholegrains! in spite of the fact that neither bit of advice holds up to research.]

    But that is why the education and liscensure is so important. Dietitians (and doctors) learn in their schooling how to find valid peer-reviewed research. If they get a masters, they learn even more about study models, statistical models, and all the other aspects of a journal article that tell you if you can trust it or not.

    [Dietitians and doctors learn how to parrot what they’re told in classes, according to the doctors and dietitians I’ve met personally. Meanwhile, it isn’t necessary to attend a school to learn how to find valid research or to evaluate the validity of a study.]

    I saw on the AND (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) website an article about metabolism and weight loss that essentially said that people that eat under 1000 calories in a day have a drop in metabolism. All gold-standard doubly labeled water research has shown this not to be true and that metabolism is the same between everyone correcting for height, weight, gender, and lean body mass. But dietitians were trained in school that metabolism can be affected by how much people eat. I believe that being taught the wrong thing is not a dietitian’s fault; however, not reading up and learning new research is a dieitian’s fault. But that goes for doctors too.

    [You’re citing an example of dietitians being given wrong information in school to bolster your argument that credentials matter?]

    In addition: dieitians are generally NOT reimbursable through insurance. Insurance covers 3 sessions a year for renal disease, diabetes, and gestational diabetes. And that’s it.

    I would never go to a “nutritionist” that doesn’t have the proper credentials.

    [Good for you. I’d never go to a “nutritionist” who received an education in a program that was funded by Kellogg’s or General Mills.]

    Reply
  29. Eat Well

    As a dietitian in functional and integrative medicine, I was glad the ADA was exposed. I struggle with the dynamics of the entire institution. I want to be able to provide Weston Price principles (btw, many dietitians don’t give into the Plate crap) and whole food eating to patients and have their insurance pay for it. Any dietitian who has any real experience knows the food pyramid was nothing more than a big farming scam. We actually get in quarrels at conferences. haha. I think the big wigs are starting to wake up and the fearful backlash is expected. Please don’t bash all dietitians. They work in numerous fields and specialties. Like in any healthcare or healing practice, there are good and bad, those up on differing research and those relying on the institution for information (happens with MD’s too). But with all organizations, there will always be levels of professionalism and standards. Standards and missions are at the core of any organization. I for one, network with many health providers including naturopaths, osteo’s, chiropractors, acupuncturists, physical therapists, MD’s, endocrinologists, etc. We partner together to provide the BEST options to our patients. Ultimately, the direction the patient chooses to take is theirs. It is unfortunate that the ADA comes across as power hungry instead of open to team approaches. Most dietitians are team players. We should be open to all those around us who’s only focus is to help, not harm our fellow brothers and sisters.

    Reply
  30. Eat Well

    As a dietitian in functional and integrative medicine, I was glad the ADA was exposed. I struggle with the dynamics of the entire institution. I want to be able to provide Weston Price principles (btw, many dietitians don’t give into the Plate crap) and whole food eating to patients and have their insurance pay for it. Any dietitian who has any real experience knows the food pyramid was nothing more than a big farming scam. We actually get in quarrels at conferences. haha. I think the big wigs are starting to wake up and the fearful backlash is expected. Please don’t bash all dietitians. They work in numerous fields and specialties. Like in any healthcare or healing practice, there are good and bad, those up on differing research and those relying on the institution for information (happens with MD’s too). But with all organizations, there will always be levels of professionalism and standards. Standards and missions are at the core of any organization. I for one, network with many health providers including naturopaths, osteo’s, chiropractors, acupuncturists, physical therapists, MD’s, endocrinologists, etc. We partner together to provide the BEST options to our patients. Ultimately, the direction the patient chooses to take is theirs. It is unfortunate that the ADA comes across as power hungry instead of open to team approaches. Most dietitians are team players. We should be open to all those around us who’s only focus is to help, not harm our fellow brothers and sisters.

    Reply

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