Doctor's Note

Michele Simon is the muckraking powerhouse behind that exposé. Check out her blog Eat Drink Politics.

For more on the corrosive effect of money and politics in nutrition, see:

There are lots of evidence-based dietitians. My two favorites are Brenda Davis and Jeff Novick. And now there's a whole organization! Check out Dietitians for Professional Integrity.

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  • tbatts666

    Sad to see AAFP pandering to junk food for money.

  • elsie blanche

    Does chocolate have ANY caffeine in it? The seemingly most credible source is claiming that it contains “zero” caffeine:

    http://www.xocoatl.org/caffeine.htm

    …but there are plenty of other sources claiming it does contain
    “some” caffeine. The reason I ask is that I’d like to feed someone
    I care for chocolate but they have allergy to caffeine, in any amount.
    It seems that chocolate has properties that are similar to caffeine, but
    these properties (and chocolate itself) contain zero caffeine.

    Hoping someone can settle this chocolate/caffeine debate once and
    for all. A lot of the reputable science seems to be in disagreement.

    • Guest

      Possibly the confusion is between theobromine (Greek for ‘food of the gods’) and a caffeine which is similar in chemical composition:

      The slight chemical difference makes chocolate toxic only in much larger amounts than we would normally consume although some people can be sensitive to it, as are dogs and cats. Theobromine is a milder stimulant than caffeine although it may be just as addictive (Caffeine doesn’t do a thing for me, but I would just die if I didn’t have my daily tablespoon of cocoa powder mixed with two bananas). A person with a sensitivity to caffeine might want to slowly increase the amount they take, starting with a small amount. It’s possible that over time they could build up a resistance to it as their liver learns to dispose of it more quickly.

      • elsie blanche

        Thank you. Yes, I’ve read about the theobromine in chocolate, but I’ve also read that chocolate, in addition to theobromine, also contains caffeine. Are you saying this is not the case, as far as the caffeine?

    • b00mer

      Hi elsie,

      According to every reputable source I viewed, chocolate contains caffeine. In a quick search of the literature, I saw nothing to indicate any debate on the subject. “mrk’s chocolate site” is not a valid scientific source nor does he cite any to back up his claim.

      The one “source” he quite poorly cites is not even a real article from a real journal, but rather a newsletter with a broken link. Even if he did provide one valid source that showed *a lack of detection* of caffeine, faced with every other source showing detection of caffeine, a logical person would conclude that there is indeed caffeine in chocolate. His conclusion would be like someone drilling for oil somewhere in the state of Texas, not finding oil, and concluding there is no oil Texas, despite an obvious wealth of findings to the contrary.

      The following sources are the first I found with a quick search. I apologize if you do not have access to view them. If you have trouble viewing the entire article, you should be able to find and view at least the abstracts. You may be able to find more using a publicly available scientific literature database or google scholar.

      The first four are primary articles. The last one is a review and may be a more meaningful read for someone unfamiliar with analytical chemistry.

      Simultaneous Determination of Theobromine, (+)-Catechin, Caffeine, and (–)-Epicatechin in Standard Reference Material Baking Chocolate 2384, Cocoa, Cocoa Beans, and Cocoa Butter
      http://chromsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/46/10/892.long

      Flavanols and Methylxanthines in Commercially Available Dark
      Chocolate: A Study of the Correlation with Nonfat Cocoa Solids
      http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/jf201398t

      Comparative study of commercially available cocoa products in terms of their bioactive composition
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996909000696

      Optimized method for simultaneous determination of catechin, gallic acid, and methylxanthine compounds in chocolate using RP-HPLC
      http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/302/art%253A10.1007%252Fs00217-002-0565-3.pdf?auth66=1404410654_b3c2b9f4d4294b8445237337f2130e75&ext=.pdf

      Polyphenols in Cocoa and Cocoa Products: Is There a Link between Antioxidant Properties and Health?
      http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/13/9/2190

      • elsie blanche

        Hey, thank you so very much. Yes, you are indeed right. Chocolate has caffeine. It is unfortunate someone is misguiding people online about this, but so it goes.

        • Ben

          But it’s a very small amount. A tablespoon of cocoa probably has the same caffeine content as one cup of decaffeinated coffee.

    • cameron

      Coffee, does indeed contain a small amount of caffeine ( 1oz=12 mg) (1cup coffee=300mg). As you see this is a very small amount, however still contributes to the improved moods and sense of well being after consuming a chocolate from a quality dark chocolate. Dark chocolate comes from the fruit of the cacao tree pods and contains a number of phytonutrients (polyphenols, flavanoids, and catechines, all powerful antioxidants shown to improve blood pressure, decrease risk of cardiovascular disease, and improve mood. Not all chocolate is equal; milk chocolate doesn’t contain these antioxidants because the milk reduces the antioxidant content. Eat small portions (1.5-3.0 ounces) in moderation, and stick with 70 % dark varieties.

      Cameron Segura

  • Merio

    It is sad…

  • VegAtHeart

    As we previously learned, Dr. Greger seems comfortable citing work supported by corporations provided that the message aligns with his own.

    That’s why it is surprising that he does not mention that the “Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics” strongly supports vegetarian and vegan diets.

    Isn’t it also the case that nutritionfacts.org itself was financially supported by an animal rights organization known as the Humane Society of the United States?

    • DanielFaster

      The AND “support” of “well-planned” vegetarian diets makes them sound eerily dangerous . . . carefully avoiding dissing any animal products

      • VegAtHeart

        “well-planned” is a necessary qualifier for vegetarian diets to be healthful…i.e. it is necessary to eat healthful food and not vegetarian junk to gain the described health benefits. notwithstanding this important qualifier, their position statement is a well-written and unmitigated endorsement for vegetarian diets.

        • Thule

          In the other hand, omnivorous diets would be unhealthful no matter how well “planned” :D

        • fruitbat

          So? It’s no more necessary for vegetarian/vegan diets to be “well planned” than for any other diet. It is a subtle form of scaremongering.

    • wendy

      I’m not sure if your sponsorship claim is true, however, even if it were, there’s a big difference between being sponsored by a non-for-profit and a large shareholder governed profit seeking corporation. It’s the difference between Superman and Lex Luthor really…

      • VegAtHeart

        not really… any conflict of interest can be an obstruction to scientific information reaching the public in an unbiased fashion…i am pointing out a double standard here.

    • Mike Quinoa

      The initial (and perhaps continuing) grant to start nutritionfacts.org came from the Jesse and Julie Rasch Foundation in Toronto.

      • VegAtHeart

        The Jesse and Julie Rasch Foundation also funds four animal welfare organizations. While this is only an indirect affiliation with nutritionfacts.org, it does raise the question as to whether the foundation is swayed by Dr. Greger’s support for vegan diets, which could represent a conflict of interests.

        • Mike Quinoa

          I’m sure Dr. Greger has an obvious bias for animal-free, cruelty-free vegan diets. I don’t think there’s any attempt to hide that fact, or his affiliations, or that they’re even an issue. That said, Michael presents scientific evidence that strongly supports his dietary preferences.

          This website presents an open forum for anyone to present their views and the science to back them up, whether they agree with Dr. Greger’s views or not. The whole world is welcomed here to present a contrary point of view.

          • VegAtHeart

            There is no shortage of scientific evidence to support the health and ethical benefits of vegan diets. But that is not the issue we are discussing here!

            We don’t need more arguments for veganism, we need action!! – attitude changes by the general public.

            While I am on record many places of this website praising Dr. Greger for being a mine of useful information for vegetarians/vegans, I am afraid that is all he is doing! I had hoped he would reach a broader audience.

            Outside of our community, I think Dr. Greger is perceived as being something like a religious zealot as this article puts it. We need to think harder about how the general public perceives vegetarian diets in order to change minds.

            The whole point of my original post was that the ADA provides a view of vegetarian/vegan diets that are strongly supportive and will reach the general public more successfully than Dr. Greger (an MD working for the Humane Society).

            Assuming that Dr. Greger’s goal is to change minds, by putting down the ADA, Dr. Greger is, in effect, shooting himself in the foot.

            Why don’t you people get that!

        • fruitbat

          It’s discrimination to suggest Dr. Greger’s personal beliefs and favourite charities is a conflict of interest. No one would ever say the precise opposite: that other doctors have a vested interest in promoting meat because they DON’T want to care about animal welfare, environmental damage or world hunger. If a meat eating doctor openly supported, say, the Countryside Alliance (a charity that promotes hunting in the UK), no one would question it. It would be considered irrelevant to the fact that they were a doctor who supports eating meat. It is directly analogous to what Dr. Greger did.

          We need to stop discrimination and double standards against vegans, not try to live within the limits and hypocrisy inflicted upon us. THAT is how we’ll finally make progress.

          • VegAtHeart

            Using your Countryside Alliance analogy, I would rephrase your analogy in a slightly more accurate form as follows:

            1- a person runs a nutrition website claiming that the balance of scientific evidence supports that meat is essential for good health;

            2- that person argues video after video that meat is beneficial while ignoring any counterarguments;

            3- that person just happens to work for the Countryside Alliance (i.e. pro-hunting charity) and donates the majority of proceeds from her/his work to that pro-hunting organization;

            4- a major dietetic organization claims that well-planned diets high in meat provide many health benefits, but also provides adverts for the health benefits for a vegan meals;

            5- the person with the website tries to discredit the dietetic organization for suggesting that there could be any health benefits to those vegan meals on the basis that the dietetic organization had a financial relationship with vegetable manufacturers;

            6- one of the followers and supporters of that person with the website comments on the website that there is the optics of a double standard;

            7- the most ardent and zealous supporters of the person with the website hysterically try to defend that their leader could not be flawed in anyway.

    • Thea

      VegAtHeart: To my knowledge, NutritionFacts.org has had no sponsorship from the Humane Society of the United States or any other organization beyond the original grant from the Foundation Mike listed in his post.

      Here’s where I think the confusion may have come in: Originally Dr. Greger donated proceeds from his videos to the Humane Society (and maybe other charities too, I don’t know).

      However, now all proceeds from the videos are used exclusively to support this site/NutritionFacts. So, even that link of donating money to the Humane Society has been severed.

      I could be wrong, but that’s my understanding.

      • VegAtHeart

        maybe… all I have seen is his disclosure that he works for them (serving as director of Public health and animal agriculture) and donates proceeds from his videos to them.

        What I recommend is that Dr. Greger provide appropriate disclosure statements for all authors/organizations cited in his videos so that the viewer can be informed and make up their own mind. This is better than attacking people just because they are supported by someone.

        • Thule

          The weight of evidence in favor of WFPB diet is overwhelming; the fact
          that Dr Greger has a position in the HS doesn’t change it. Also other
          doctors without any ties to animal organizations reached the same
          conclusions. And au contraire of what Dr Greger denounces in this video,
          they aren’t affiliated to any industries, including there,
          pharmaceuticals and food ones. In fact, very much the opposite they
          risked being marginalized (and they were) by making public where the
          data leads. Dr Greger could be making *loads* of money as physicians do
          in US, just by working as one of them. Instead he put his time and money
          to make public what no one had nothing to gain in making public.

          BTW, nothing to comment about the real conflict of interest presented in the video…?

        • ComfortablyAware

          Leave it be…we are all fighting big agro-corporations for the simple fact they are the leading causes of global depletion…regardless of where funding goes or comes from for this informative and science-based website, that is the least of our quarrels. We stand united to choose vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruits for health of our planet and our own health.

    • Merio

      You made some points…

  • TFB6587

    First of all, Registered Dietitian is spelled with a “t” and not a “c” and this message, while informative just gives RD’s a really horrible reputation. Sorry we aren’t medical doctors but regardless of where our funding comes from, not all Registered Dietitians in the profession associate heavily with this organization and we still know more about nutrition than any MD (we spend 4 years in nutrition rather than taking just one class and also are BOARD CERTIFIED). The corporate sponsorship doesn’t help our reputations any, but not all RD’s utilize the information on the website for AND as mentioned in the video as we have the skills and training necessary to facilitate patient care without these resources. To say that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) is “our group” is incorrect and highly ignorant. Remember this: nutritionists are not Registered Dietitians, but all Registered Dietitians are nutritionists; in order to be a Registered Dietitian, one does not have to be a member or affiliate with AND, it is a separate entity and therefore should be considered when assuming that AND is “our group.”

    • Veganrunner

      Just out of curiosity have you looked into the test or requirements for Nutritionist? First they must hold a doctorate of some kind. MD, DPT, etc. They must have all the science courses one would expect that would be required for these science based degrees. And–the test itself isn’t easy. I have compared the dietician programs and they just don’t compare. Maybe I am missing something.

      But either way you all should get together and stop the above conflicts of your organizations. It’s just bad business.

      • Chelsea

        This depends on whether or not you live in a state where the title “nutritionist” is licensed or protected. In my state, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist without any credentials/training.

        • Veganrunner

          And I would hope everyone would do their homework before signing up with a “nutritionist.”

      • Dylan

        No this is completely untrue. Nutritionist is an unlicensed title in majority of the states. It often takes little more than an online test to use this title.
        The RDN has and continues to be the Gold standard for nutritional credentials. No, we’re not all affiliated with Coca Cola. We’re a group of thousands of different vegans, meat eaters, etc.

        • Veganrunner

          Well I am not sure about all that. One can get a graduate degree in nutrition and not be a RD right? There seems to be some misunderstanding in the general public.

        • BCNS

          While there are many very capable RDs, the gold standard for clinical nutrition is the Certified Nutrition Specialist, which requires an advanced degree and far more rigorous and relevant examination and experience. Many RDs go on to become a CNS once they have completed an advanced degree and the type of advanced clinical nutrition training the RD credential alone does not require.

      • KWD

        In my State, you can have a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition, complete a one-year unpaid internship and then sit for the test to become a licensed RD. However, I was told by the school I am planning to attend that in the next few years, there will be a push to only allow RD certification with the same requirements but requiring a Master’s degree.

        That being said, I’m not aware of a separate nutritionist certification at the doctorate level. Something I would be interested in though!

        • Veganrunner

          This looks pretty serious to me but I am not in this field. http://cbns.org

          But either way I would like to point out that Dr Greger bags on his profession too!

          • Mandy

            The CNS certification was designed for clinicians and scientists without a bachelor’s degree in nutrition/dietetics who want to conduct nutrition work. The coursework and hours of supervised practice (1200 for RD) are equivalent to requirements for the dietetic internship, with the exception of the graduate degree (which will soon be a requirement for RD’s as well). I know very few individuals with both the RD and CNS certification, mostly b/c you are reinventing the wheel by having both. Both groups respect the other, and in the research setting we very much appreciate the wide variety of backgrounds that come from having both RDs and CNS involved.

    • Linda N

      Much of that 4 years of training is NOT in nutrition per se. It is in general education requirements, the science of food systems, food service sanitation, food production and service etc. Yes you get the basic sciences such as A&P, organic chemistry, biochemistry etc. and you do get basic nutrition courses, Medical nutrition therapy etc. but so do other nutrition majors, and many of those programs get much more actual clinical type nutrition courses.

      The Registered Dietician degree started out as home economics and frankly a lot of it has not changed enough to keep up with nutrition science. Sadly The RD program that Cade accredits appears to keep on earning the bad reputation it is getting with the public. And to my understanding (I could be wrong) these programs have to follow USDA guidelines, and we all know the industries by which this department is controlled.

      This is not to say that any individual dietitian is not up to par in the nutritional sciences. There are some top notch ones out there, but they seem to be motivated to go beyond their formal education. However the formal education requirements of the RD training programs need to drastically change, and the AAND does indeed need to dump those corporate sponsors!

  • Chelsea

    I think it is important to point out that not all Registered Dietitian’s agree with the AND’s philosophy and junk food/beverage corporate sponsors.

  • Carol

    As mentioned by others, not all RDs are affiliated with AND as we do not agree or use the all the information provided by this organization. Some of us are part of the group called Dietitians for Professional Integrity who is working on getting sponsorship for AND that are free from conflict of interest. They also provide resources to obtain CEUs free from conflict of interest. You should research the group before implying that AND is the group for RDs. In addition, AND is not the only organization that is sponsored by big food industry; some physician organizations are also being accepting sponsorship from these companies.

    • HereHere

      Wow, I love what you are doing! Continuing Education hours free from commercial interest, especially if made affordable, will do the professional a lot of good.

  • Guest

    I’m new to this, and still “learning how to eat”, but it seems to me I don’t have to worry about corporate brand names if I’m buying the right stuff. There are no brand names on watermelon, carrots, and fresh leafy greens. In fact, since starting to change my eating habits I have not had occasion to leave the supermarket with anything branded, bottled, boxed, or canned by any corporation.
    As long as we shop outside the corporate circle of influence we can safely ignore all the “good advice” of corporate-owned scientists.

  • Nancy

    You mean coke is food? Wait, what?

  • Colliemom

    Our daughter is a newly minted RD who is well aware of these relationships with the AND. She and many of her colleagues do not allow this “embarrassing list of sponsors” to influence their practice.

  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    Nearly all corporations follow the money, except a few such as this fantastic website, PCRM, Dr. McDougall, The Medical letter.

    The only way I see this changing is when the money sources change and/or the public demands it!

    Until then, it will be, “The Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.”

    “Holy conflicts of interest Batman!”

  • Critical thinker

    I was a big fan of this site..until this video. While it’s important to bring awareness to this issue in hopes of pressuring AND to change their policy, it is inaccurate to paint all dietitians with the same brush. Many dietitians are embarrassed by AND and Dietitian of Canada’s corporate ties, and are fighting to have policy changed. Also, not all RD’s are members of these groups.

    Where would you have the public go for accurate, evidence-based nutrition advice? “Nutritionist” is an unprotected title in many areas, and a large number of MD’s are fairly illiterate in nutrition. RD’s remain the experts.

    • Thule

      I am glad to hear that many dieticians try to remain neutral, yet they are under an organization with an agenda which cannot go against their sponsors. The book Whole by Collin Campbell explains the problem in detail.

      Otherwise they wouldn’t go around with the “no bad foods and beverages” discourse.

      • JanP

        Most of my RD colleagues NEVER bought into the ADA slogans of “all foods can fit.” Re: “no bad foods”‘ – I’d reply, that until foods can “act or behave” there are no “bad” or good foods. There may be unhealthy and health foods, and frankly, there ARE many foods that are 100% unhealthy and shouldn’t be eaten. Just think about it, “no bad foods”? How stupid is that? If somebody has an allergy, even a trace of a food may kill. So, ANY food can be a killer, to the right person.

    • HereHere

      I agree with you that not all dietitians should be painted with the same brush. However, I really appreciate knowing more about the conflicts of interest of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; this was a much needed issue that more of us need to be aware of. It’s definitely a huge problem for the credibility of the profession. Dr. Greger should probably have clarified that there are many great dietitians out there, although there are many more who probably redistribute or regurgitate what industry has provided to the Academy.

    • Anne|Craving Something Healthy

      Thanks for pointing out that not all RDs share the policies of AND and yes, many of us are embarrassed by their corporate ties, and sadly lots of RDs aren’t fully aware of them. It’s not a requirement to be a member of AND to practice, and lots of RDs cut ties with AND because of their corporate ties. It’s hard work to become an RD, and really frustrating to have to defend our credibility when most of us try daily to have a positive impact on people’s lives .

  • Plant Based RD

    Well, the AND gets exposed. This has been going on for years. I saw it happening as a now retired RD. It’s embarrassing to see a former president of the then ADA in the movie Forks over Knives supporting the corporations views she was working for. All a bunch of misinformation! How could that be? Money, it’s all about money. I see in print above that Dr Greger points out 2 of his favorite evidence based Dietitians. It would have been nice to mention something a little more supportive of RD’s in the video. I never met or worked with a Dietitian who intended to harm or give false information to anyone. We just wanted to help patients get well & stay well.

  • Stephanie

    “When you hear the title Registered Dietitian, this is the group they’re registered with.”

    This is misleading and not accurate.

    For one, not all RD’s are on the same page with Academy when it comes to dietary approaches. Also, not all RD’s are members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In fact, there are thousands of RD’s who are not affiliated, or active paying members, with the AND because of the concerns you raise in this video. All RD’s are registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration, the credentialing agency of the AND, but are not required to be active members of the Academy.

    There is a group of highly proactive RD’s seeking to change the corporate sponsorships with the AND. They have a website: http://integritydietitians.org
    and a Facebook page: Dietitians for Professional Integrity.

    There are many RD’s who promote and advocate for plant-centered diets, and avoidance of highly refined and processed foods, and animal products. How come you make no mention of these individuals?

    And to be fair, there are very few doctors, less in number than that of RD’s I would bet, who are advocates of plant-centered diets.

    Do you have any ideas for what a RD who does not support AND’s corporate sponsorship should do?

  • Catherine J Frompovich

    Applause, applause, applause! And, thank you so very much for this report that documents why RDs apparently should not be trusted as possessing correct nutrition information, something I realized in the 1970s and decided to become a natural nutritionist rather than a Registered Dietician, which back then labeled me a ‘quack’. What I learned back then, RDs are just starting to incorporate into some of their work.
    There’s a tremendous difference in nutrition values, information, and how the body uses food when information does not come from corporations that make the products and provide financial subsidies to those entrusted with dispensing supposedly accurate information, as you so eloquently point out, AND which is part of the problem with many of the food-related health problems we ‘enjoy’ today due to food processors ideas of nutrition.
    Supporting RDs in many ways allows food processors the ‘earned’ rights to provide ‘nutrition’ information, in my opinion and, obviously, yours.
    The sad part about the RD agenda is that professionally as a group they are legally recognized as knowing what nutrition is all about. In my opinion, that seems to be quite a stretch. Why aren’t RDs coming down hard on the inferior values of GMO foods, especially the inordinate amounts of pesticides GMO crops are sprayed with in the growing fields or those crops that grow their own pesticides that humans and animals raised as food are forced to eat?
    Thank you, again, for shining the spotlight of fact on an issue of immense nutritional importance to USA citizens. I hope they and the RDs will take seriously what you’ve said in this report.

    • Dylan

      Well, many RD’s ARE indeed concerned about Monsanto, pesticides, etc.

    • JanP

      Many RDs ARE coming down hard on GMO foods. There’s an entire AND subunit called “Hunger and Environmental Nutritionists” – most of the opposed to GMOs. (Maybe not the ones working in 3rd world countries with malnutrition and thinking maybe gmo corn might prevent blindness to millions. It’s a tough call for some in those situations – not something most of us are exposed to in our land of abundance.)

  • David

    video not playing. Issue?

  • KWD

    My own interest in nutrition, particularly with plant-based diets, prompted me to pursue a formal nutrition science education – and I’m glad I went this route – each course provides more critical context in the complex canvas of food and physiology that I could never have learned efficiently on my own – and I’ve only just scratched the surface. I’ll need to make a decision in the coming months as to whether I’ll pursue a Master’s with an RD certification or track a research path. I’m glad to read some of the comments from RD’s clarifying that affiliation with AND is a choice and that there’s an effort to put an end to the conflict of interest. Nevertheless, since AND manages RD credentialing, these funding relationships degrade the integrity of the organization overall.

    • Veganrunner

      Great area of study you are interested in. Have you checked out the graduate programs in nutrition? They look so interesting.

      • KWD

        Yes indeed. There are two Universities in my area with graduate programs in Nutrition. The one I plan to enter has two tracks – one leads to RD certification, the other more research focused. The RD path seems to be a prudent choice from an job standpoint as most healthcare organizations only hire RD’s. That being said, I’m not sure which path is for me yet.

  • Daniel_Bridgeworth

    Dr. Greger, you have nicely identified the root cause of many systemic cycles. Financial influence in our decision making process corrupts the outcome and put into question the “common knowledge” of our society in many industries: food, medical, transportation, waste management, etc. Where money is involved, and weak and poorly understood policies in place, this is the results. Perfect results given the conditions we have allowed to be created over time…

  • Guest

    Registered Dietitian here – and I can say for myself and thousands of other RDs. This video and some of the conflicts of interests of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics DOES NOT REFLECT the opinion and practice of many RDs.

    We are highly against this and have been fighting a huge battle within the organization to stop all questionable sponsorship and end all conflicts of interests.

    So be encouraged. Many RDs agree and will continue to give quality scientific based nutrition counseling, regardless of the the sponsorship of the Academy.

  • SC dietitian

    And not all registered dietitians agree with the policies and sponsorships of the AND

  • jamfhall1

    How about the hypocrisy of WIC (Women, Infants & Children)? They will not allow a bag of potatoes on their produce voucher (maybe $3), but you can get TWO 64oz juices per juice voucher. The number of vouchers vary with each person. When I had WIC 20+yrs ago, I could get can tuna and an extra lb of carrots for being a breastfeeding mom. The cereal choices have gone downhill too. It’s relegated to cheap “crisp rice” and other cheap filler cereal. I know, I’m am alternate on my daughter-in-law’s WIC. Going to the store to get WIC is not fun.

    • Paradigms

      Why would they have juice in favor or eating fruit? What is “cheap filler cereal”? Why would somebody even buy “crisp rice” when it is cheaper to buy dry rice and cook it? Dry oats too for that matter.

      • jamfhall1

        If you are receiving WIC, you have to get what is on the voucher. If you’ve never heard of WIC, you won’t know what I’m talking about. “Crisp rice” is generic Rice Crispies. That’s what WIC allows you to get with their vouchers.

        • Paradigms

          I am not a woman, infant or child. But… are you saying that WIC forces a consumption of sugar water with artificial color and flavor on you? If so, it is nutritionally criminal. Almost free water from the tap would be a better choice. What are the best things that WIC provides (in your opinion)?

    • Thea

      jamfhall1: I don’t know much of anything about the WIC program. But I did just read a brief article in the Vegetarian Journal put out by VRG (Vegetarian Resource Group) about some positive changes. Some quotes of interest:

      One important change for vegans and others avoiding dairy products is

      that medical documentation is no longer needed for program participants

      to get vouchers for soy beverages and calcium-set tofu in place of cow’s

      milk – See more at: http://www.vrg.org/blog/2014/03/05/revisions-to-the-wic-food-package-make-sense/#sthash.HjD03TqA.dpufOne important change for vegans and others avoiding dairy products is that medical documentation is no longer needed for program participants to get vouchers for soy beverages and calcium-set tofu in place of cow’s milk.”

      That’s the good news. The bad news is:
      “… not all states allow soy milk or tofu to replace cow’s milk but for those that do, it will be easier for this substitution to take place. As of 2011, 71% of state agencies allow soy milk to replace cow’s milk and 40% allow tofu to replace cow’s milk.”

      VRG kindly posted the article for free on their website if you want to read more:
      http://www.vrg.org/blog/2014/03/05/revisions-to-the-wic-food-package-make-sense/

      This article/content doesn’t really address your issue. But I see the information as a sign of hope and thought you might want to know about it if you didn’t already know.

      Good luck to you and your daughter-in-law.

  • audrey

    Dr. Greger, I am very very disappointed in your myopic commentary regarding the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and their relationship with the corporate food industry. As a registered dietitian working with cancer patients, it is a daily challenge to help provide nutrition recommendations to people who are often unable to eat a mainly plant-based whole foods diet. While I agree, as do many of my colleagues, that the poor quality foods which are heavily marketed to American consumers are far from ideal, we as nutrition professionals are frustrated by the lack inexpensive, good quality foods. The amount of money that the AND receives from the food industry is fairly insignificant in terms of the AND’s overall budget, but the work that thousands of registered dietitians are doing in under-served communities, with children and families, with the elderly, with immigrants in helping improve health is worth billions of dollars in terms of health care savings. You have inappropriately maligned a group of nutrition professionals who practice nutrition with high standards of training and ethics.
    Over the past year, I’ve been so pleased with many of your comments and discussions pertaining to nutrition research and feel very sad that I can no longer respect your opinions.

    • Thea

      audrey: I can’t comment on the majority of your post. I’m sure there are lots of AND people trying to do their best. But that doesn’t make Dr. Greger’s message a problem. I don’t see this video maligning a group so much as pointing out a serious problem that if addressed, would make the group much stronger. This airing of the problem is a good thing.

      There is one small point I particularly wanted to address: “we as nutrition professionals are frustrated by the lack inexpensive, good quality foods.”
      From what I can tell, the most healthy foods are very inexpensive and easy to attain. For example: Dried beans. Potatoes. Rice. You might consider checking out this article:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/2013/11/26/best-nutrition-bang-for-your-buck/

      And there are a couple of cookbooks that may interest you, including this well-researched one:

      Vegan on $4 A Day

      From Amazon:
      “Not only can a plant-based diet be good for health, it can also be easy on the pocketbook. At a time when many people are looking for a way to cut costs, Vegan on $4 a Day will show readers how to forgo expensive processed foods and get the most flavor out of delicious, high-quality basic ingredients. Author Ellen Jaffe Jones has combined passion, money savvy, journalistic expertise, and culinary skills into a consumer’s guide for an economically viable dietary lifestyle. She has scoured the shelves of popular supermarkets and big-box stores and calculated exactly how much it costs to eat healthfully and deliciously. Readers will learn how to adapt their favorite recipes, cook with beans and grains, and use bulk buying to get big savings. Includes nearly 100 nutritious, delicious and low cost recipes and a week’s worth of menu- planning ideas that show how the recipes can be combined to get a cost of $4 a day.”

      I guess I just don’t see the problem/the lack with the food that is available.

      That said, I find I never agree or disagree 100% with anyone, including Dr. Greger. But even though I have disagreed with Dr. Greger on a topic or two in the past, I put situation into perspective. I didn’t think, “hhmmm. Now I can’t trust/don’t respect anything he says.” I understand that I can’t agree with everything he says. We aren’t twins. I’m not out to defend Dr. Greger in this case. What does interest me is your reaction an where society in general seems to be going when it comes to disagreements. I don’t think we have been going in a healthy direction. Something to think about.

  • Katrina

    Your snide and disparaging comments about dietitians reflects a lack of
    insight into what we do and how many of us are just as passionate as you about promoting healthy nutrition. Rather than
    waste time countering your very broad brush stroke condemnation of dietitians,
    I am simply deleting your site from my Favorites list. Too bad, because dietitians have been among your biggest supporters.

  • fruitbat

    Dietician commenters have reacted to this video with intense butthurt. He is perfectly entitled to talk about corporate interests. If it weren’t for the very last sentence, all your ego’s would have come out unscathed. Maybe he should have worded it better, but it is clear from the rest of the article that he is criticising the organisations, not its members, and the fact that the groups towing the official line are financially supported by questionable profit driven companies. The last sentence was intended to let viewers know why some dieticians promote unhealthy foods or are judgmental towards vegans.

    This excerpt in particular: “Is this what family doctors have been reduced to? To justify an unholy financial alliance we hide behind what others say and do and deny that there are actually unhealthy “bad” foods?” – especially the use of the word “we” when referring to fellow health professionals – should have made it very clear that he was not attacking dieticians themselves.

    It could be said that RDs have a subconscious vested interest in not having their credibility questioned.

  • JoAnn Downey Ivey

    All RD’s are not the same. I was unlucky enough to get one who was concerned that I ate no animal products. And she was VERY concerned that my fat intake was less than 10%. (Less than 10% was the figure which proved successful in reversing heart disease ala Esselstyn and Ornish)

  • LearningFromThePast

    I’m in school to become a registered dietitian but I hereby do solemnly swear, I will never claim there are no good or bad foods and I will never say “everything in moderation.”

    • Thea

      LearningFromThePast: You rock! Sounds like you will be a force for good when you launch your career. Good luck!

  • Vita

    How can one find out, that ADA is sponsored by these organisations? Is it written on their homepage? Where am I heading is – can we find out, whether the europian organisations are also sponsored?

  • Linda Illingworth, RDN CSSD

    Great video and as an RD I share the concerns of AND’s position regarding ‘no bad foods’. Just to clarify: AND does not register Dietitians, that is a separate organization, Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). An RD can be registered in the national registry and not hold an AND membership. They are separate. I have been an RD for 25 years and most of that without ADA or AND membership because they do not well represent the vast majority of RDs. Coca Cola, NutraSweet, the MSG Council (who knew), even the Corn Syrup Association is always in attendance at the annual convention. The convention floor is clearly well funded by Coca Cola, Heinz, ConAgra etc. Very disheartening.

    • Thea

      Linda: It’s a good post. I appreciated you making the distinction between being registered and being a member of ADA and/or AND. As a lay person, I had not understood that distinction before.

      Thanks for being one of the good ones!

  • Tommy Rowley

    Dr. Greger, after watching Forks Over Knives and reading Discovering the Word of Wisdom and The China Study, I have changed to a WFPB diet. I love it and truly feel that it is something that can have a huge impact in preventing and reversing disease and help promote overall health. I began applying for physical therapy programs for next year before making this change and I am now wondering if this is the right route to go. I want to be able to help people and incorporate this knowledge in my profession but I don’t really know what opportunities are out there that will allow me to really make an impact while still earning enough to provide for my family and work a standard 40 hour work week. Any insights you have would be much appreciated!!

  • Rodrigo Cardoso
  • JDSparks

    I find that the power play of the ADA/ AND or whatever they choose to call themselves is so audacious. Requesting to present to this board is a bit boggling and rather Nazi-like, not diplomatic, not democratic — it is apparent they speak to a higher source (Big Ag and of course Big Pharm protecting their interests by keeping people in the dark about TRUE nutrition). To know that the RD certification is given by this Joke of a Bureaucracy has shed a lot of light on my referrals to such as a RN health coach, — and SHAME on RDs who kowtow to this bogus misinformation and impose such upon their patients.