Some critics not so sweet on sweet corporate ties to American Dietetic Association

See the LA Times’ Booster Shots piece that lets readers know about who’s behind a survey touting the benefits of chocolate in a healthy diet. And the piece also addresses some concerns about chocolate industry corporate sponsorship of the American Dietetic Association. Excerpt:

“The Hershey Center stepped up its commitment to your health this week by becoming a corporate sponsor of the American Dietetic Assn., the professional group for nutritionists and dieticians. (The organization can be found online at In doing so, Hershey joined an esteemed list of health food purveyors, including the Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo and Mars Inc. (Yes, the soda companies also sell juice and water, and Mars makes Uncle Ben’s rice, but that doesn’t make them health food companies.)

The folks at Fooducate are understandably appalled (if not surprised) that the ADA would let itself be influenced by big bucks from candy and soda makers. “Instead of a very simple message – ‘less candy’ – we’ll hear ‘moderation,’ ‘balance,’ ‘chocolate is healthy’ and other messages that help nudge consumers to buy more snacks instead of less,” according to a post on the Fooducate blog.

The Sustainable Food blog got to the heart of the issue: “If the world’s largest group of nutrition professionals is in bed with junk food giants like Pepsi and Mars, how can consumers believe any of the organization’s dietary advice?” Instead, the blog suggested that “folks can get better dietary direction from a fortune cookie.” “

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August 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm

To Gary Schwitzer:
Thank you for calling attention to this appalling situation. As a certified health teacher, I’m concerned about all the junk food the children in our schools consume. The American Dietetic Association is another example of fast and processed food corporations influencing the information that Americans are being “fed” through organizations that are supposed to be health “watchdogs.” Unfortunately, these organizations are just “hotdogs” for the processed food industry.
Writers like you help sift out truth from all the deception.
Thanks again for this article. Articles like yours will someday stand out as the beginning steps towards healthier generations of Americans.


October 4, 2011 at 7:43 am

Hershey’s “Center for Health & Nutrition” has also sponsored the “Hershey Moderation Nation” in collaboration with the ADA to promote “moderation” and a “balanced lifestyle”. In my opinion this is nothing more than a slick PR campaign. Thanks for another enlightening bit of information Gary.