Saturday, April 7, 2012

The ADA Wants Nutrition Prisons

You’ve got to believe me; I am not trying to pick on registered dieticians (RD’s). Unfortunately, they make it too easy for me. I know some very smart RD’s who are very knowledgeable about nutrition. However, as compared to most of the members of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), the RD’s who are knowledgeable about nutrition are, unfortunately, few and far between.

Presently, we have two-thirds of the U.S. population overweight and one-third obese. Part of the reason we have so much obesity in the U.S. is due to the nonsensical dietary advice the ADA and its members have been promoting. I can assure you, the last thing we need in the U.S. is to have the RD’s control who can and cannot speak about nutrition.

This blog post was prompted by an article in Forbes magazine (4.5.12) titled, “Is the American Dietetic Association Attempting to Limit Market Competition in Nutrition Counseling.” The article can be found here:

This article is well written and goes into more details about the nefarious activities of the ADA. This article discusses the ADA’s push to pass a terrible law in each state that will only allow RD’s the legal right to talk to patients about nutrition. All others will be subject to fines and jail time.

Let me review what is happening. I posted two blogs about this topic—the first on September 22, 2010 and the second on October 6, 2011. You can access these articles from the archives on my blog page.

The ADA is trying to ensure that only registered dieticians will be licensed to talk with patients about nutrition. If a health professional is not properly licensed to speak to a client about nutrition, he/she would be subject to fine of $10,000 per day of violation and possibly six months of jail. Can you imagine these penalties for counseling someone about nutrition? Think about it, you go into a health food store and the clerk tells you that you should eat less refined carbohydrates. The next thing you know, an ADA enforcer may be there to fine the clerk $10,000 and put them in jail for six months. Does that sound reasonable to you? It is not only health food store clerks who have to worry, it is chiropractors, certified nutritionists, personal trainers, yoga instructors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, homeopaths, nurses and pharmacists who may be barred from speaking to anyone about nutrition.

Maybe we will need nutrition prisons to house all the new inmates. I can hear the prison conversation. “What are you in for? I told someone to eat less carbs and they busted me.” As punishment, perhaps these new prisoners should have to eat food from all the ADA corporate sponsors. Who are these corporate sponsors? Pepsico, Coca-Cola, Mars, Soyjoy, Hershey’s and General Mills are such examples. I think that punishment would be too severe for the nutrition prisoners. But, I digress. Let’s get back to business.

The state of Michigan passed the ADA’s idiotic bill in 2006 and it was signed by the governor of Michigan. Fortunately, this law has not been implemented due to public and professional criticism. My October 6, 2011 blog post contains a letter I sent to the Michigan Office of Regulatory Regulation detailing my complaints about this dumb law.
For those of you that reside in other states, I have two words for you: Watch Out! The ADA is busy trying to pass this dangerous and unnecessary law in all 50 states. They are quiet about it because they do not want anyone to be aware of what they are doing. You have to organize and get the word out. In Michigan, we have formed a group to fight back. More information about this group can be found here:

As I said before, we do NOT need the ADA deciding who can and cannot speak about nutrition. This law needs to go away and the ADA should refocus its efforts to properly educate its members about nutrition.

Whether it is from an RD, nurse, or even a health food store clerk, you should have the right to decide who you would like to receive nutritional advice from.


  1. Restricting counseling on nutrition is ridiculous but I would just as soon not receive counseling from chiropractors, personal trainers, yoga instructors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, and homeopaths, since they do not practice science-based medicine.

  2. Jim,
    You should be able to choose who you want to receive nutritonal advice from. We cannot allow nutritoinal advice to be restricted to RD's. I disagree with you on one point; many of those different practioners do practice science-based medicine.

  3. I disagree with Jim. I am a dietitian and I am not allowed to give out science based nutrition advice without using a disclaimer. Dietitians are only allowed to give advice that is approved by the FDA, USDA and the NIH and that advice is usually bought and paid for, it's not science based. If it was science based, we wouldn't have an obesity epidemic or increasing rates of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, nor would our children be developing diabetes.

    When I was a member of the ADA, I would get food (if you can call it that) in the mail such as Equal, Splenda, candy, Kashi bars and granola bars. These would come with a note from the company dietitian telling me how I could help my clients incorporate these unhealthy foods into their daily diet. I'm sorry, but the advice to incorporate these foods into the diet is not science based, it is industry sponsored for the sole purpose of making a buck. It would indeed be a sad state of affairs if dietitians were the only ones allowed to dispense nutrition advice.

  4. I am a registered Dietitian……I certainly did not consider myself a Nutrition expert upon graduation…..I have had years of experience and continued education so that I can provide the best nutrition related advice to my clients. I did not care to work in a hospital or other institution that controlled the advice I gave…the information was generic and not effective. I found that out very quickly. That is why I went into private practice. I have learned more about nutrition through the years through my own experiences, continued education and by consulting with other experts such as Chiropractors, Homeopaths etc…I have also met a lot of “quacks” along the way whose only interest was to make a living off selling bottles and bottles of supplements. I do think that this can get out of hand big time…I have seen it happen over and over again. I am not against supplements and do use them but there are many out there who are only interested in the money and not the health and well being of their clients. Instead of limiting who can or cannot provide nutrition information, it is more important that the practitioner be required to provide their credentials and educational background (whatever they may be) and it is up to the individual/client/patient to decide what is best for them. Unfortunately, there will always be some who are not as educated and too trusting of anyone who claims to be an expert and they can be hurt by this. I don’t know the entire solution to this, but I don’t think that limiting nutrition education to one group of providers is the answer. The government or any other organization should not have the right. Pam

  5. JIm, as a chiropractor, I practice science-based healthcare. Not medicine, since medicine involves pharmacy and surgery. My nutritional advice comes as does my patient care, comes from journals worldwide. My training involved over 240 hours of class hours.
    You might want to restrict the strokes your brush paints everyone with.

  6. You failed to comment that we already have the same laws in the monopolies of medicine, dentistry, and law.
    I can go to jail for getting into the turf of any of those 3 protected monopolies and for that matter many others.
    What is scary is that the readers have supported this slide into tyranny.