Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest??

Every once in a while I read some piece of ridiculous nonsense that I just feel the need to rant a little bit.  So here it goes.

I read an article in the NY Times about the interconnection of the food industry and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  When you think about what nutritionists and dietitians do, its all about health, proper diet and nutrition.   Now it seems that this trade group is accepting corporate sponsorships, and by corporate sponsorships, I really mean big time food corporations who have anything but nutrition and health on their mind.  In the article, it lists ConAgra, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Aramark, Mars and the National Dairy Council as major sponsors.
To make matters worse, these "sponsors"can become an academy partner and earn themselves a spot to educate professionals on the benefits of their products. 
This is just as bad as hiring the Cheetos mascot to hand out chips at an American Heart Association Walk (link)  yea that really happened.  Whoever decided that was a good idea needs to smack themselves in the head. 

Anyway, theses sponsors educating nutritionists is insane.  Doesn't that seem a little off?
So according to this association its ok if you have Mars telling nutritionists about the benefits of eating M&M's. 
Or ConAgra telling you about Slim Jims and how nutritious they are.  Awesome.

Just a slight conflict of interest there.  Educating the public on proper nutrition has always been a fight.  On the one hand, you have the correct information trying to be put out there so that the public makes smarter decisions, and then you have the corporations stopping that at every turn.  It can be traced back to the 90's when the food pyramid was first coming out.  Grains were the bulk of the pyramid and you had the dairy and meat industries fighting for their placement on the pyramid.  
Everyone has their own interests at heart, and never the health of the public.  It seems that money takes precedent over the actual education of the public.  Keep the public buying your "unhealthy crap" and you're set.  If the public actually goes out and changes their lifestyle and does what is in the best interest of their own health, then they're out buying whole foods, fruits and vegetables, not processed, over salted, sugary junk. 

This is a great way to influence the people that are supposed to be helping the public maintain a proper diet.  Maybe not all are swayed by nonsense like this, but there's always those few that find a way to agree with the nonsense and rationalize it.  Then you have Slim Jims as part of a well balanced diet. 

We need to stand up and be responsible for our own health, and our own well being, because it seems the people that we were to rely on for quality information can be bought. 

Stay Healthy!! Keep Moving!!

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