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J Am Diet Assoc. 2002 Feb;102(2):260-6.

Position of the American Dietetic Association: food and nutrition misinformation.

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Rose F. Kennedy Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA.


It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that food and nutrition misinformation can have harmful effects on the health and economic status of consumers. It is the role of nationally credentialed dietetics professionals to advocate for and promote sound, science-based nutrition information to the public, function as primary nutrition educators to health professionals, and actively counter and correct food and nutrition misinformation. The federal government has recognized the strong link between nutrition and health in recent years. Consumers are taking greater responsibility for self-care and are hungry for food and nutrition information, creating opportunities for nutrition misinformation, health fraud, and quackery to flourish. The media are consumers' leading source of nutrition information, but news reports rarely provide enough context for consumers to interpret the advice given. Promoters turn preliminary findings into sales pitches with baseless claims, often for the sole purpose of economic gain. Effective nutrition communication is consumer focused and presented with sufficient context to allow consumers to weigh the information and determine whether it applies to his or her unique needs. Nationally credentialed dietetics professionals are best prepared to communicate sound advice and scientific advances about nutrition. These dietetics professionals have a responsibility to take an active role in providing accurate, easily understood food and nutrition information, interpreting emerging research for media and consumers and encouraging consumers to look for credentialed dietetics professionals as nutrition experts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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