Conflict of Interest Anyone?

Ada_advertisers Here is a page out of the October 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.  It is a "thanks" from the ADA to it’s corporate sponsors.

Among them are the following:

South Beach Diet products made by Kraft:  OK, first off, the ADA is supposed to be against diet foods and diet plans, period.  They are also supposed to be in support of high-carbohydrate diets, which is the opposite of South Beach.  So why are they endorsing South Beach Diet products?  In addition, these products are made by Kraft which makes processed foods such as Jello (contains artificial colors and sweeteners and contains little nutritional value), Oreo Cookies (contains hydrogenated oils and..after all are cookies), Tang (artificial colors, sweeteners and no juice in this "juice drink"), and Ritz (more hydrogenated oils/trans fats). 

Beef Council:  On one hand, the ADA and R.D’s will tell you to eat beef in moderation, if at all, since it is considered to be high in saturated fat and contains carcinogenic substances.  I am not saying beef is bad, I eat it in moderation myself and I think the iron it contains is superior to every other iron-enriched food out there (with the exception of chicken liver…not for me thanks..).  But should the ADA be taking money from the Beef Council who’s primary goal is to sell as much beef as possible?

National Dairy Council:  See above response.  Many question the legitimacy of the food pyramid and believe we have had the food groups we do (dairy, meat, etc.) because of corporate sponsorship.  Dairy contains many healthy vitamins and minerals and is most certainly needed in children’s diets (unless they are like my son and are lactose intolerant).  However, there is a high percentage of adults that are either allergic to milk proteins or are lactose intolerant.  Don’t get me wrong, just like beef having many vitamins and minerals, I think dairy is a great source of vitamin D and calcium and is a nutritious food group to consume, as long as your body is tolerant of it.  The problem is when the ADA puts out a journal with over 10 studies and articles supporting dairy products and disregarding diets with dairy substitutes (such as soy products) stating that they are inferior while taking money from the dairy council.  It appears to be a conflict of interest to me. (as seen in the October 2006 issue)

Ensure:  Ensure shakes are fortified with many healthy nutrients, but 2 of the 3 most abundant ingredients in their shakes are corn syrup (sugar) and sugar.  And they contain artificial ingredients, such as fake fruit flavors.  You may think that artificial flavors are no big deal, but reading  the New York Times Bestseller, Fast Food Nation (soon to be a movie), will tell you that it takes 32 chemical ingredients to make the flavor of strawberry in a McDonalds milkshake.  Let me repeat, 32 chemicals just for the FLAVOR of strawberry.  Here is an idea, how about using real strawberry flavor….hum..

MONSANTO Corporation:  If you are not familiar with Monsanto, Google them.  They are also one of the biggest, if not the biggest, producers of genetically modified foods.  There is still much debate on this topic, but feel free to research it for more information. 

Equal:  Yes, the product that contains aspartame and is still a controversial ingredient.  Need I say more?

Now, I eat beef and consume dairy, and I think in moderation they are both healthy.  But that is not the point.  The point is that should the one and only trusted source of nutritional information be taking money from food manufacturers or food advocates? Not in my opinion.

About Kimberly Dawson, M.S.

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