Who sponsors the Dietitians Association of Australia?Posted on 21/03/2014

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I know I am probably going to receive a whole lot of backlash for this post, but I know for every negative response, I will receive 20 positive, so I am happy to take the punches. 

I was recently reading through a “health” magazine and came across an article titled ‘Are Diet Soft-Drinks Really That Bad?’. The article presented two opinions; firstly, a Naturopath argued that all diet soft-drinks were terrible for you (which if you read the research, you will understand why). On the opposite side of the page was the opinion of an accredited Australian Dietitian who argued that diet soft-drinks were a great option for people trying to lose weight. As I continued to read through the article (and this particular dietitian’s promotion of diet soft-drinks), I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. I felt a kind of rage building up inside of me. I went looking for answers. 

A large portion of the population looks to the Australian Dietitian’s Association for a whole lot of guidance when it comes to choosing what is right or wrong for ourselves and our family. But who calls the shots?

A quick search of the major sponsoring partners (this can be found on the DAA website) offers some clue as to where this recommendation may have stemmed from: 

unilever

nestlecampbells

 

 

 

 

 

 

A brief explanation of the foods these companies sell include Flora Margarine, Streets Ice-Cream, KitKat, Musashi, Rexona, Dove, Maggi’s, Uncle Toby’s and Jenny Craig… just to name a few. For a full list of the products these companies supply, jump on over to their respective websites. 

According to the DAA the reason they seek partnerships with these companies is to in part “provide accurate and practical nutrition information to the Australian public and support public nutrition education programs.”

If you were to put yourself in the shoes of these sponsoring companies, would you consider promoting the research that tells the world your product’s and their ingredients may have adverse health effects? It’s not likely. 

If you thought that was bad, Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Kelloggs, Unilever and SoyJoy are the major partners of the American Dietetics Association. The major sponsoring partners of the American Society of Nutrition include all of the above and more, including ‘The Sugar Association’… hrrrmmm. 

Before you disregard all of the work being done in the US, remember a large proportion of the nutritional guidelines set here in Australia are influenced by the work done in the states. 

The solution? Do your own research; or even better… Just Eat Real Food. 



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Gen Co-cliff on Facebook
Gen Co-cliff on Facebook
6 years ago

Delve into pharmaceutical companies, vaccine trials/research. Same same.

Gen Co-cliff on Facebook
Gen Co-cliff on Facebook
6 years ago

Absolutely, trust nobody but be trustworthy.

Gwenda
Gwenda
6 years ago

Hi Alyse,
Fantastic comment,for all who give negative feedback they are not well versed so really shouldn’t speak at all. You are right in every aspect. I educate in this arena all the time trying to get people to listen and change their habits is like pulling teeth. But those who do and who are willing to learn and listen make it all worthwhile.
Keep up the great work 🙂

Jules
Jules
6 years ago

I read this sort of claptrap all the time! The last time there was some article in a well-known online newspaper about how chocolate is good for health. Sure, but there was no mention of the TYPE of chocolate, so anyone would take it that a daily Mars Bar has health benefits!

It was so irresponsible.

This sort of advice and sponsorship gives me that absolute sh#ts. You’re not alone at all and I agree with every word of this article. Well done for articulating it simply and without any drama.

Clare Holberton
Clare Holberton
6 years ago

Thanks for getting this information out Alyse – it all helps to open people’s minds and educate people who are misinformed.
This does make me SO angry and I know that Pharmacuetical companies also work with the same sort of principles…
Let’s hope that with more people reading blogs such as your’s, that there can be a mind shift and more awareness of the ‘real world’.
Have a beautiful weekend and enjoy the two weeks ‘off’. 🙂
Clare xx

Alix Lix on Facebook
Alix Lix on Facebook
6 years ago

I’m a nurse and work with many patients with dietician input. I have to say I disagree with a large amount if it. My dad has cancer and I also disagree hugely with the dietician advice he’s given- basically eat high fat junk food! It’s terrible

Tony
Tony
6 years ago

Thanks for speaking the truth Alyse!!
One of my friends saw a dietician recently, and told her that diet ice cream is a good
everyday option. “It’s DIET”.
I couldn’t believe it. Sure, everything in moderation I suppose.. Many of these dieticians may focus on calories, and cutting calories will generally help their clients drop a few kg – but at what cost?
Quality of food should be a priority over calories. I also feel that the body isn’t a calculator, so we shouldn’t obsess over specific calorie numbers – JERF! as you said!

Alix Lix on Facebook
Alix Lix on Facebook
6 years ago

Thankyou. Absolutely agree!

megan
megan
6 years ago

Hi Alyse, I am a dietitian and agree somewhat with this article. However I think you have missed the point of the message the dietitian was trying to get across. If someone is obese and trying to lose weight it’s not as easy as just cutting out sugar for these people, as drinking soft drink is like a learnt behaviour and i’m sure you’ve read research that in some instances can be as addictive as smoking for these people. I think what you really need to consider is what is the lesser evil – consuming all that sugar on a… Read more »

Chris
Chris
6 years ago

Hi Alyse, I would have to agree with Megan on this. In the “real” world simply telling people to cut out diet drinks all together does not work. There needs to be a medium. I am a dietitian and a good proportion of my work is treating patients with chronic disease. I am not a fan of “diet” drinks/foods or the like however, if you were to simply tell your clients to cut it out entirely (no matter how much “evidence” you have to say its bad) that person will probably never come back! I’m sure you have had a… Read more »

Elanor
Elanor
6 years ago

You think it’s terrible advice, because you don’t know the reasons behind the advice. When it comes to cancer, and other disorders causing metabolic stress, it’s about providing two main things. Number 1 is energy and number 2 is protein. Protein-energy malnutrition is actually one of the most common causes of death in cancer patients, more common than the cancer itself causing death. Apart from the disease itself, the side effects from treatment is often nausea/vomiting, diarrhoea, anorexia, taste changes and loss of appetite. It may also include difficulties to eat e.g. for head/neck/gastrointestinal tumors. Like it or not, high… Read more »

KarenAPD25
KarenAPD25
6 years ago

Dietitians are the most qualified people to handle cancer patient diets. There is nothing wrong with flora margarine and sugar substitutes. Flora is much better then adding coconut oil or butter which contain saturated fats linke to heart disease. It is amazing how much mis information is out there. Go the DAA website for real information from Practicing Dietitians. Look for APD credential.

Sharron G, Dietitian
Sharron G, Dietitian
6 years ago

Wow great post Alyse! Thankyou!! Great to see someone who actually cares about the real issues behind our health care associations. I have been a practicing Dietitian for many years and am appalled with shameless international junk food sponsors of the DAA. Sponsors like Pepsi, Flora margarine, pesticide soaked GM canola oil, and Nestle who own Phizer actually provide continuing education units for Dietitans. And yes, Mc Donalds and Mars bar are always major sponsors at our meetings. Most Dietitans will go to the DAA website for gospel truth forgetting that it is bias toward the companies that sponsor them.… Read more »

Lou Cypher
Lou Cypher
5 years ago

“Feeling the hairs on the back of your neck” is far superior than getting in the lab and testing things out in a scientific manner. Keep up the great work.

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