Health Benefits of Seeds
If you are looking to add some quick and easy items to your routine that pack a supercharged nutritional punch, head to the bulk bin or seed section at your local grocery store. There are a number of healthful seeds readily available, and there are a variety of ways to enjoy them. So which types should you be looking for, and how should you include them? Let’s find out!
In terms of nutrition, flaxseeds are one of the best types of seeds that you can include. They are relatively high in omega-3 essential fatty acids. These healthful fats have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and can help to lower the risk of cancer, arthritis, and even heart disease. Omega-3 fats are also associated with brain health, and may even help to fight against anxiety and depression.
You can purchase flaxseeds in several different forms including whole, ground, or as oil. One important note when adding these to your routine, is that our bodies cannot digest whole flaxseeds completely. While no harm will come to you if you are to consume them whole, your body will not be able to extract all of the nutrients. This makes them an excellent choice to use in smoothies. Flaxseed oil is also a great choice, and is perfect for salad dressings.
Chia seeds have been growing in popularity over the last several years, and for good reason. These power packed seeds are loaded with a variety of minerals including calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, which are extremely important for strong bones and teeth. One serving of chia has close to 20% of the recommended daily intake for magnesium, which is necessary for preventing osteoporosis.
Chia seeds are also a wonderful source of protein. The combination of a high percentage of protein and fiber make these an excellent snack to help you feel full. This can help to reduce food cravings and the desire to snack on less strategic items throughout the day. Soak chia seeds in water for 30 minutes and sip slowly throughout the day.
When most people think of calcium, sesame seeds may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but maybe they should be! These tiny seeds are a great source of this vital nutrient, as well as many others. For the largest calcium kick, make sure to enjoy unhulled sesame seeds. When the hull is removed, it may also remove a large portion of the calcium.
Are you one of the many people that enjoy hummus? If you are, you may not have even known that you have been eating sesame seeds in some of the recipes. Tahini, a crucial ingredient used in making hummus is actually just ground sesame. These tasty seeds are also delicious as part or a stir-fry or anywhere you want a little extra crunch!
Pomegranates may be intimidating, but they are so worth it! The seeds that are waiting inside are not only delicious, but also packed with nutrients. They are an excellent source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium. Pomegranate seeds are a perfect snack by themselves or great sprinkled on top of a salad. If you haven’t tried these before, treat yourself!
There are a variety of seeds available with a wide range of flavors and uses. Find a way to fit more of these into your routine and start reaping the health benefits!
The Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) is the largest nutrition conference of the year. This year FNCE 2016 was in Boston October 15-18. View the sessions from 2016 HERE and the exhibitors HERE. Mr. David Wiss attended this year, presenting his poster “Hands-on Nutrition and Culinary Intervention Within a Substance Use Disorder Residential Treatment Facility” with Kristie Moore MS RDN.
David also attended FNCE 2016 to carry out an important mission spurred by Dietitians for Professional Integrity, which is to elevate the public perception of the dietitian credential by severing ties with problematic food companies. Mr. Wiss wrote an important guide for fellow attendees HERE.This document highlights five 2016 FNCE sessions with conflicts of interest that concern us, particularly in regards to speakers who have industry ties that directly relate to the topics they are speaking about.
Mr. Wiss generated a report after the conference, stating: “We recommend a vetting process to ensure that the companies and trade groups at the expo hall are appropriate for a nutrition conference. Some may argue that the presence of purveyors of highly processed foods is necessary so dietitians can be aware of products our clients may come across. However, we can easily remain aware of that by visiting company websites or simply perusing the aisles of local grocery stores. At least that way we are not learning about a new product via a company rep that has been given talking points to specifically market the product.” Read the full recap HERE.
While at FNCE, Mr. David Wiss was interviewed by a member of the Associated Press who published an important article: Do Candy and Soda Makers Belong at a Dietitian Conference? Mr. Wiss states that conflict of interest has “been an important topic in the pharmaceutical world, and now it’s becoming a much more important topic in the nutrition world.” Other articles reporting on the conference discussed close ties between nutritionists and the food industry, and how many nutritionists want to sever those ties.
FNCE 2016 was a lot of fun! We networked, attended some great sessions, and continued to advocate for a future that is not riddled with industry influence. We are thrilled with the progress made in the last three years.
It is encouraging to see incremental changes at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual conference.
We have also identified the following areas for improvement:
1. Discontinue CPEs for industry-sponsored educational sessions
2. Implement a vetting process for expo hall exhibitors that examines companies not just by the products they sell, but also by their political actions (i.e.: what do they lobby for/against?)
3. Acknowledge well-researched and thoroughly documented issues surrounding bias and influence so we can address them cohesively as a profession.
Supplements vs. Real Food
It comes as no surprise that we all need vitamins for our bodies to function properly and to live a healthful life. A booming supplement industry has each vitamin, mineral, and amino acid neatly packaged up and ready to sell you. So, is there any difference in the vitamin C pill that you can take with a glass of water or the vitamin C that you would find in a fresh orange? This is important to know as you make decisions for yourself and for your family. It is important to distinguish between supplements vs. real food, as they are not the same thing!
As humans, most of us want to find the path of least resistance or the easiest way to do things. The supplement industry caters to our desire for “easy” thus many people are under the delusion that if they take a handful of vitamins, they are indeed healthy. This can be problematic, as it can lead to poor food choices. The example of a person that takes a variety of supplements and then chooses to eat nutrient-food convenience food too frequently throughout the week is far too common. The truth is that many people need to learn new habits surrounding food. Each time that you reach for a fish oil pill instead of cooking a piece of fish, you are not preventing yourself from furthering you relationship with food.
Whole, unprocessed foods that are close to their natural state are complex. They contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds. When you eat a carrot, you get over a dozen vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, and folate. All of these work together to provide your body with what it needs to function properly. In addition, eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains also provides fiber to the diet. This is an area in which most people struggle, and increasing fiber can have a tremendous impact on a person’s health. We believe fiber may actually be the key to good health. Not fiber supplements, fiber from plant foods!
Shockingly, the supplement industry is unregulated. This means that companies can make a variety of claims, which may not have been proven. Some studies have shown supplements to contain up to 80% less than the declared amount on the package! On the other hand, although vitamins are essential to our survival, there is level in which they become toxic to us. Although you have nothing to fear if you are eating real food, it is very easy to reach those levels in pill form.
While there is nothing wrong with including supplements or a multivitamin in your daily routine, it is important to remember what these products are meant to be – supplements. This means that they should be included along with whole foods and a well-rounded healthful diet. These products should be used to fill in the gaps during certain situations when it can’t be done with food. You can take a vitamin C supplement if you really want to, but it’s no replacement for a red bell pepper!
At Nutrition in Recovery the supplements we are most comfortable recommending are: multivitamin, fish oil, probiotic. There may be others depending on your personal needs!
Read more about our thoughts on supplements HERE
While we can all agree that nutritional yeast may have the least appealing name possible for a food, it is certainly something you may want to consider including in your diet. Never heard of nutritional yeast? You are not alone! Although it has been around for quite a while, it has just recently started to become more popular and a larger number of grocery stores are now carrying it. So just what is this mysterious product and why should you be eating it? Let’s find out!
WHAT IS IT?
Nutritional yeast differs from bread and other yeasts in that is deactivated. This means that it can’t be used as a substitute when making dough, and shouldn’t be confused with the type of yeast that is used in baked goods. The yeast is grown on a food source, in some cases molasses, harvested, then dried and finally broken into small flakes. This finished product has a wonderful nutty and cheesy flavor that is delicious with a wide range of foods.
WHY SHOULD YOU EAT IT?
While these yeast flakes may be small in size, they pack a supersized nutritional punch! Nutritional yeast contains protein, and in a ¼ cup serving, you get 8 grams or close to 16% of the recommended daily value. In addition, it is a great source of fiber. In that same serving size, you can get close to 12% of what is recommended daily. While it is true that not all brands are created equal, it is common to find high levels of B12 in most.
Are you ready for the best part? In addition to being a great source of protein, fiber, and B12, there is almost no downsize to nutritional yeast. There is zero sodium, zero cholesterol, zero sugar, and zero fat. There aren’t too many other foods out there that can make those types of claims!
So now your interest has been piqued, how exactly do you get nutritional yeast into your diet? One simple and tasty way to enjoy this is to sprinkle some on top of popcorn. Skip the buttery/salty variety and pick a plain flavor in which you can enjoy the naturally cheesy flavor. Another great dish to try this on is pasta. Instead of reaching for the overly processed green can of Parmesan, do yourself a favor and grab the yeast! If you are a little more savvy in the kitchen and want to try something new, nutritional yeast can also be used to make some delicious and creamy cheese sauces.
Whichever way you choose to enjoy it, just make sure you are including it in your diet. Try it tonight and see what you have been missing out on!
In recent years, chia seeds have been growing in popularity. Remembered by many as a plant ordered off a late night infomercial, these little seeds have been found to be extremely beneficial if included in the diet. So if you aren’t currently including them in your daily routine, you may just want to start. Here’s why:
Chia seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Fiber adds bulk to the diet, and can make a person feel fuller, faster. This can help to control weight, and also helps to prevent constipation and aid in digestion. Foods that are high in fiber help to control blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption rate into the bloodstream. Fiber also plays a role in a healthy heart, as it helps in reducing blood pressure, inflammation, and cholesterol levels.
These healthful fats are an important part of cell membranes throughout the body. They play a critical role in blood clotting and help to control inflammation. In addition, this type of dietary fat supports brain health and may assist with depression. The many benefits of Omega-3 fats are also linked to heart health. This type of fat can help to improve blood vessel function and may help to lower blood pressure and heart rate.
Vitamins and Minerals
Chia seeds are a great source of a number of different micronutrients. In particular, they are a wonderful source of the fat-soluble vitamin E, which helps immunity levels in the body. They are also a source of calcium, which the body needs for proper heart, muscle, and nerve function. Along with vitamin D, vitamin E can help to protect against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
How to Enjoy
Including chia seeds in your diet is a great habit to start, and it couldn’t be any easier. You don’t have to become a super chef or spend any extra time in the kitchen, all you have to do is add them to some things that you may already be eating. One simple way to incorporate them is by adding a 2 Tablespoons to a 16 or 20 ounce bottled water. After about 20 minutes, the seeds will absorb some of the water and expand. You can sip on this throughout the afternoon, and it will help to keep you full and energized until dinner. Other ways to enjoy include sprinkling on top of a salad, eating with yogurt, or as part of a smoothie.
One important thing to keep in mind is to integrate them into your diet slowly. If your diet is relatively low in fiber, it is ideal to increase the amount of chia in your diet gradually to decrease the chances of any gastrointestinal discomfort. If you want to do something great for yourself, start adding these powerful seeds daily. Your body and mind will thank you! Try white chia seeds! Black chia seeds are sooooo last year.
Have you ever wondered why you choose to eat the things that you do? For many people, the answer to that question is no. The majority of the population will move through life selecting foods that are pleasurable to them in that brief moment without a second of thought about it. What if it was more complicated than that, and there were a host of things operating behind the scenes that were driving you to pick certain foods? The truth is that there are a variety of things that you may have never considered that influence the choices that you make every day in relation to your diet. Below are some less known influencers of our eating habits.
A food environment is defined as biological, physical, or social factors that affect a person’s eating habits and patterns. Examples of different environments include your home, neighborhood, or break room at work. This could also encompass different settings like Thanksgiving dinner, lunch meeting with friends, or going to a baseball game. All of these places have their own built in characteristics that may influence the types of foods that a person chooses to eat. Some of these are more obvious, like a ball park serving processed hot dogs, but others may be more subliminal. Take for example, your neighborhood. If you live in a location that has fast food restaurants on every corner but the nearest grocery store is 5 miles away, you are far more likely to eat fast food than you are to shop for fresh food.
While you may not be able to control every food environment that you enter each day, there is one that you are in complete control of – your home. The foods that you choose to keep in your house are likely to be the foods that you will eat. If you possess a freezer full of frozen pizza and processed food, you will likely eat frozen pizza and processed food. If you keep a bowl of fruit on the counter that you walk by 20 times a day, you are far more likely to grab an apple at some point. This may seem simple, but the foods that you see regularly and are easily accessible are the ones that you will eat habitually.
The human digestive tract is home to tens of thousands of different species of bacteria. These types of bacteria are helpful to the human body and assist with many functions including breaking down food and keeping harmful bacteria out. Just like no two humans are identical, the same thing can be said about the types of bacteria that live in each person’s gut. For example, the microscopic creatures that live in the gut of someone that eats a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein may look radically different than someone that eats a diet high in processed and fast food. It is important to keep in mind that these bacteria are living beings and carry out certain functions to ensure their safety and survival. What does this mean? The type of bacteria that you have living in your gastrointestinal tract right now may influence taste receptors in your brain to make certain foods taste better to you or can release hunger inducing hormones to control your eating behaviors. So, are you hungry or is it your gut bacteria? Learn more about the microbiome HERE.
We all know that our eating habits are shaped from an early age, but did you know that it is possible that they may have been formed while we were still in the womb? Some studies show that babies born to mothers that eat a diverse diet full of a wide variety of different flavors may pass those preferences onto their child. For example, mothers who eat processed and sugary foods have shown that their offspring are desensitized to sweet and fatty foods. This altered pathway in their children is similar to a person that is addicted to drugs, in that they require a higher dose to get the same reward as someone else. This is important information to consider, as a mother’s food choices while carrying the child and subsequently breast feeding may have lasting effects long into the child’s life.
What Does This Mean?
All of this information means that there are many things going on behind the scenes that drive a person’s dietary preferences. Things are not as clear-cut as we may of once thought, and the foods that an individual likes are not random, but more so developed due to a range of different influences. If we start to learn why we eat in a certain way, we can then be more proactive about changing some of our habits. If we can step back and look at the bigger picture, it may just help us make the changes that we need.
The Importance of Exercise In Addiction Recovery
For people struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, the thought of life without a drink or drugs can seem almost impossible. The unfortunate reality is that the majority of individuals seeking help for their addiction problem will not find success for any sustained period of time. While the recovery rate for alcohol and chemical use disorders may be low, there is something that can be done to greatly increase the chances of kicking the habit once and for all. The good news is that the answer will not only help you to stay addiction-free over the long term, but it is inexpensive or free! So what is it?
Have no fear; we are not talking about becoming an ultra-endurance athlete, a pumped up gym rat, or an Olympian. Just the simple inclusion of some physical activity can have a radical impact on your quality of life and chances of sobriety.
How Does It Work?
During active addiction, the drugs and alcohol that a person consumes have a large impact on a complex set of structures in the brain called the limbic system. This part of the brain is largely responsible for creating a person’s feelings and motivations. In short, this system plays a major role in how a person sees the world and subsequently behaves in it.
While substance abuse does warp and alter this brain system, exercise can actually have the opposite effect. A regular exercise routine helps to grow new cells in this area and put the brain in homeostasis. We know that drugs and alcohol impact chemicals in the body including serotonin and dopamine. For someone new in addiction recovery that is trying to rebalance these neurotransmitters, physical activity can help to speed up the process.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS)
Prolonged substance abuse creates dependence, and with that comes a period of withdrawal when a person stops using. Some of the physical characteristics include shaking, extremes in body temperature, nausea, and vomiting. In addition to these physical ailments, there are other difficulties that can last from 5-10 days or as long as a year and a half. These are referred to as post-acute withdrawal symptoms or PAWS, and may include insomnia, depression, anxiety, irritability, trouble thinking clearly, and difficulty with coordination. Not only are these feeling uncomfortable, they are particularly dangerous for the recovering addict, as they can be contributing factors for relapse.
The great news is that you can be proactive in your recovery, and by adding exercise to your daily routine, you can have a serious impact on these symptoms. Physical activity, whether it be lifting weights or going for a jog can be used as a safety valve to help vent feelings of agitation and stress. By participating in activities like these, it gives a person time to separate from whatever situation is causing the agitation. This time spent physically moving can be a period to think instead of acting impulsively and potentially dangerously.
Most people that are entering recovery did not arrive on a particularly positive note or a winning streak. In most cases, individuals that are newly sober reached this part of their life through a string of harmful consequences and hard times. This can have a negative impact on self-esteem and belief in one’s self.
The good news is that this particular area is one in which exercise can have a direct impact. By setting and reaching small goals with physical activity, a person may start to lay the foundation for winning behavior. Small successes with exercise can help to build confidence and lead to commitment and motivation in other areas of life. As self-efficacy increases, a person can continue to produce positive results as they gain confidence and handle situations as they arise.
When starting down the road to recovery, it is common that people find themselves with an abundance of extra time on their hands. During a person’s drinking or drug using career, the majority of the day was spent thinking about using, actively using, or recovering from using. In sobriety, there are suddenly a large number of hours each day that are unaccounted for. This down time, if not filled with something positive or healthful, can be potentially dangerous for the recovering addict. This extra time is perfect for an individual to start an exercise program. The less time a person spends on the couch thinking about the past, the better.
Where To Start
We know that exercise and being physically active can have a major impact on a person’s chances of staying sober, but where do you begin? The best way to implement a new workout routine is to be honest about where you are starting and have realistic goals. This may be as simple as a ten minute walk around the neighborhood a few times a week or going to play basketball for 20 minutes in the park. Try a few different activities and find one that you enjoy. The more fun that you are having being active, the more likely you are to stick with it.
Initially, being consistent is the most important thing when becoming more active. Stick with your program and give your body time to adjust. Keep your eyes on your goals and be as tenacious about healing yourself as you were about harming yourself. You will be amazed at just how different and wonderful your new life can be.
Of course there is a tendency for many addicts to take it too far. Be wary of exercise addiction. For more information, click HERE
David Wiss MS RDN has been obsessed with the microorganisms for the past year. Is it possible they could be the second brain? He has had so many burning questions as a registered dietitian nutritionist working with addictions and eating disorders. These include:
- Why are so many of us drawn to foods that can compromise our quality of life?
- Why do some of us reject foods that can heal us?
- Why are educational efforts alone often not sufficient to produce sustainable behavior change?
- Why is it so challenging to develop a new relationship to food?
Is it lack of willpower? Food addiction? Restrained eating and dieting? In search for answers to the questions, Mr. Wiss has had to investigate the new insights into the gut microbiota and behavioral health.
Gut microbiota can have a significant impact on disease development, brain health, attenuation, memory, and learning (Matsumoto et al., 2013). Dysbiosis of the gut is associated with a reduction in the diversity of the microorganisms, whereas healthy guts have higher diversity (Belizario & Napolitano, 2015). Highly diverse microbial communities are more likely to expend energy and resources in competition whereas less diverse microbial communities have more resources for host manipulation (Alcock, Maley, & Aktipis, 2014). So how does the gut microbiota impact human behavior? Is it possible that they have much more influence than we ever imagine?
In 2014 Alcock and colleagues stated:
“We hypothesize that there has been a genomic arms race in which microbes have evolved genes to manipulate their hosts (particularly analogs of human signaling molecules such as neuropeptides and hormones) and corresponding host genes have evolved to prevent that manipulation where it conflicts with the host’s future interests.”
Authors proposed that gastrointestinal microbes could generate cravings for foods they specialize on, induce dysphoria until the host eats foods that enhance their fitness, acting as “microscopic puppetmasters.” Diagram from their publication below:
These authors concluded:
- Microorganisms are competing for nutritional resources
- Evolutionary conflict between host & microbiota may lead to cravings and cognitive conflict regarding food choice
- Exercising self-control over eating may be partly a matter of suppressing microbial signals that originate in the gut
- Acquired taste may be due to acquisitions of microbes that benefit from that food
- One way to change eating behavior is by intervening on the microbiota: FOCUS ON INCREASING MICROBIAL DIVERSITY
This information blew David’s mind and led him to researching this fascinating topic in great detail.
In April 2016 Mr. Wiss recorded a webinar with the Los Angeles District of the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that can be viewed HERE
You can get your microbiome analyzed at uBiome. For a 10% discount click HERE
Alcock, J., Maley, C. C., & Aktipis, C. A. (2014). Is eating behavior manipulated by the gastrointestinal microbiota? Evolutionary pressures and potential mechanisms. Bioessays, 36, 940-949.
Belizario, J. E., & Napolitano, M. (2015). Human microbiomes and their roles in dysbiosis, common diseases, and novel therapeutic approaches. Frontiers in Microbiology, 6(1050).
Matsumoto, M., Kibe, R., Ooga, T., Aiba, Y., Sawaki, E., Koga, Y., & Benno, Y. (2013). Cerebral low-molecular metabolites influenced by intestinal microbiota: A pilot study. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 7(9).Read more
What is it like to be a West Los Angeles Dietitian in 2016?
The field of dietetics is changing rapidly. I have done much reflecting on this lately. Much of the information I was taught in school is entirely obsolete. Much of it was never true in the first place. I am really proud of the work we have done as Dietitians for Professional Integrity attempting to make an impact on the corrupt nature of corporate sponsorship within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. While we have not made much of an impact on the national level, we have made a splash at the local level, particularly in the Los Angeles District (LAD). As a West Los Angeles Dietitian and proud member of LAD, I have made a few short informational videos worth watching. The first is about Corporate Sponsorship and the second is about Food Industry Front Groups.
Staying on the Cutting Edge
Thinking about my journey over the last several years, I am very grateful for my Master’s training at California State University, Northridge. My experience doing a Thesis has positioned me to be a critical evaluator of the latest research in the fields of nutrition, neuroscience, endocrinology, microbiome, addictions, eating disorders, and more! My first real interest was in the concept of Food Addiction and then I became obsessed with hormones. In 2014 I released an intense article called Hormones and Addiction and recorded a webinar on this fascinating topic. In 2015 I presented a webinar called Nutrition Therapy for the Addicted Brain through the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals. This presentation has been given in several different settings and is the basis of the work we do at Nutrition in Recovery. The webinar is free to view, and I hope you take advantage of it HERE.
Being a training site for RDNs and DTRs has been critical to the growth of the company. Kristie Moore was David Wiss’ first dietetic intern and the magic has continued since that collaboration many years ago. Kristie and David even did research at Breathe Life Healing Centers for Kristie’s Thesis. Read all about in a recent article of the Behavioral Health Nutrition Newsletter. This concept of Hands-on Nutrition for addiction recovery is something we plan to develop more in this upcoming year. Read more about it HERE. Dave Cannon was also an intern with Nutrition in Recovery, and has since joined the team offering his expertise with group facilitation, personal training, in-home cooking instructions, and so much more. Dave Cannon has brought incredible value to the NIR team. Currently we have several other students rotating soon, and two more Master’s Thesis’ on the way. Stay tuned!
Keeping a Strong Presence
This work that we do truly is an uphill battle. It is very difficult to revamp food service systems in addiction treatment centers. There is resistance from the clients and resistance from the staff. It takes persistent and belief in our message. And we have that! So David Wiss gets his name out there in cyberspace to spread the word about the Nutrition in Recovery movement. Read a very potent blog article with a sample meal plan HERE. Mr. Wiss believes that the future of treatment will address addictions and eating disorders concurrently and simultaneously. This concept of integrated treatment is very important at Nutrition in Recovery. Listen to David talk about it on RadioMD.
West Los Angeles
West LA is the hub of many addiction treatment centers. We have helped so many programs integrate nutrition counseling. There are so many more that need our help! Contact us today and see how we can be improve the quality of your recovery!
For many years, the Los Angeles District (LAD) of the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (CAND) internally debated corporate sponsorship. Some members of LAD believed we should accept funding from whatever sponsors approached us, while others advocated for a more selective approach when it came to partnerships. This resulted in annual debates, votes, and substantive dialogue.
When Dietitians for Professional Integrity (DFPI) was formed in 2013, two founding DFPI members presented at an LAD Executive Board meeting, highlighting conflicts of interest within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and explaining the need for greater financial transparency and ethical sponsorships with the Academy. The message was clear: if we are more rigorous about our standards for corporate sponsorship, we can improve the public’s perception of the RDN and advance the dietetic profession and credential. This led to a short series of videos where LAD members spoke up on this issue of corporate sponsorship and educated other members of LAD about the role of front groups in the food industry.
Meanwhile, the annual meeting of the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics received less-than-flattering coverage from Mother Jones about its McDonald’s “gold sponsorship.” DFPI core group member David Wiss MS RDN attended part of this conference and reported on the conflicts of interest and industry bias he encountered.
In 2014 the LAD Executive Board voted to put all sponsorship on hold for the 2014-2015 year. In lieu of accepting any money from food companies, LAD decided to raise its dues by $5. A very interesting thing happened: membership increased from the previous year. LAD dietitians were proud to be members of a progressive organization that was willing to take a stand on an important issue. LAD decided it would spend a year developing sponsorship guidelines with a standardized vetting and voting process. LAD used DFPI’s Sponsorship Rubric as a guide to creating its own internal rubric that allows its members to evaluate their personal (and anonymous) agreement with a potential sponsor company’s nutrition and ingredients, labor issues, environmental impact, and social responsibility.
After one year without corporate sponsorship, LAD was approached by Zevia. LAD Sponsorship Chair David Wiss MS RDN researched the company and generated a report for members of LAD to use for the vetting and voting process. A majority approval was reached on at least 75% of the established criteria items, making Zevia LAD’s first official sponsor to pass through the vetting and voting process. The sponsorship agreement ensures that LAD maintains editorial control of all content in materials bearing the LAD name, and that there is clear separation of LAD messages and content from brand information or promotion.
Additionally, The California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has also started developing more stringent guidelines for sponsorship. The gold sponsor at the 2016 annual meeting is now the Lentil Board. California Almonds are a silver sponsor, and Sun-Maid raisins are a bronze sponsor. For a full list of sponsors please see here.
There is still much work to be done at the national level, but Los Angeles and California are proof that change can happen in a way that is constructive and substantial.
See the original post on Facebook here.Read more