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Revealed: Nutritional bodies funded by Big Sugar

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You’ve probably noticed by now that government nutritional guidelines promote information at odds with what we do here at IQS and the most up-to-date science. Confused? Don’t worry we were too. Why does the largest body of dieticians in Australia tell us we can still consume sugar in moderation when research shows this isn’t possible? Why is the Heart Foundation still pushing margarine as the healthy option? The short answer: Vested financial and political interests. We’ve touched on this before a little, but figured it’s worth spelling out so we can all have a better picture of the possible cash for dietary comments we’re fed.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)

The single largest organisation of nutritionists and dietitians in the world.

  • Receives funding from Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Kellogg’s, which sells products such as Pringles, Pop-Tarts and Froot Loops.
  • If that seems crazy, the AND allows these companies to distribute health advice: At a recent conference held by the AND, McDonald’s distributed the handout “Enjoy eating the Food Groups at McDonald’s” and Coca-Cola distributed a pamphlet reminding readers that soda and juice can help meet hydration needs. Oh dear.

Scientific Advisory Committee of Nutrition (SACN)

Responsible for developing UK food guidelines.

  • The SACN recently fought against the World Health Organisation’s push to lower sugar intake. We have written about this atrocity here.
  • We dug up some dirt: It was reported earlier this year that five of the eight members on the SACN receive funding from large confectionary companies.
  • Plus: Chairman, Professor Ian Macdonald receives funding from Unilever, the worlds largest ice-cream maker as well as Coca-Cola and Mars.

The Dieticians Association of Australia (DAA)

The largest representative of over 5000 dietitians and nutritionists in Australia.

  • Sponsored by Arnott’s, Nestlé and Unilever, which sells its products under many brands including Streets, Continental and Flora Pro-activ margarine. That’s right! Paddle-Pops have vested interest in the health of Aussies. Who would have guessed?

The International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC)

Responsible for spreading information on health, food safety and nutrition internationally to the public.

  • They tout the benefits of artificially sweetened beverages and try to justify chemicals in food. If you want a comedic read, you should check out their  post on the matter.
  • They have also – quelle surpris! – opposed the information in Fed Up, the recently released documentary commenting on Big Sugar and the impacts of fructose on our health.
  • One of the IFIC trustees is Rhona Applebaum who is also the vice-president for Coca-Cola.
  • The sponsors of the IFIC are the usual suspects: McDonald’s, Kraft, PepsiCo, Monsanto and Coca-Cola have all given their bit. Sigh…

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF)

Advises the UK government, schools, industry, health professionals and the public on healthy public policy.

  • Their website states they deliver “authoritative, evidence-based information on nutrition”, yet they still link fat intake to heart disease and promote the use of artificial sweeteners.
  • Chairman of its board of trustees, Paul Hebblethwaite, was a director at Cadbury Schweppes Foods.
  • Which explains why Cadbury supplies funding to the BNF as well as the usual suspects (Nestlé, Tate & Lyte, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, PepsiCo and Unilever).

 The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)

The leading national organisation for food research and legislation in America.

  • Supported by some of the biggest in the sugar business: The American Beverage Association, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Kraft, Kellogg’s, Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Snack Food Association and Yum, which distributes their product under KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

 The American Diabetes Association (ADA)

America’s leading diabetes organisation with more than one and a half million people, funds diabetes research and provides information to health professionals and the public.

  • National sponsors include Equal, which is owned by Monsanto, the worlds leading producer of Genetically Modified Crops (GMO’s) and Splenda, owned by Tate & Lyte, one of the largest manufacturers in the sugar biz.
  • The ADA has come under scrutiny for allowing junk food companies display their logo of approval on their packaging.

Australian Institute of Sport (AIS)

The leading educator of athletes in Australia.

  • Sponsored by Gatorade (which is owned by PepsiCo) and Nestlé.
  • Gatorade has sponsored posts on the AIS website and Nestlé providesrecipes that include Peters ice-cream and NESQUICK. We think there may be some bias there. You?

 The American Heart Association (AHA)

The largest organisation for fighting cardiovascular disease.

  • Sponsors include Cheerios and Subway, just the products to cure your heart disease!
  • We don’t think they got the IQS message: The AHA recommendsconsuming fat-free dairy products, egg-whites over the whole egg and advises against coconut oil.
  • The Huffington Post described the AHA as an example of what is wrong with medicine today. Seven of the 15 authors of their “disease prevention guidelines” disclosed ties to industry.

The Dietitians Association of Australia’s 31st National Conference held in May 2014

The largest congress of dietitians in Australia.

  • What did everybody learn while there? Well, there were six sponsored seminars over the three days including Nestlé who discussed kids eating habits.
  • The director of the conference, Leigh Reeve, is also the director of the Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum (AFGC), which is funded by Kellogg’s and Nestlé.
  • More links to Big Sugar: The Conference was sponsored by Nestlé, Arnott’s, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

The Dieticians Association of Australia’s recent conference was sponsored by Nestle, Coca-Cola and Pepsico.

The recent California Dietetics Association (CDA) Annual Conference & Exhibition held in California in April, 2014

The CDA oversees the regulation and scope of practice for registered dieticians and nutritionists. So basically, tells our health professionals, what to tell us.

  • Sponsorship was received from McDonalds who even supplied lunch – a bacon ranch salad, chocolate chip cookies and a pink yoghurt parfait. Crazy right? It’s like we make this stuff up!
  • Exhibitors of the conference included Nestlé, Monsanto and Hershey’s.
  • There was even a discussion on our favourite topic, sugar. But it was sponsored by the Corn Refiners Association who produce high-fructose corn syrup. The discussion concluded that all sugars are the same despite the ever-growing evidence against fructose.

The conference ‘Sweet Symposium’ held in Sydney, AUS, 2013.

Congress of international experts, who discussed the concerning role of fructose in food and beverages.

Shocking, isn’t it? Do you think Big Sugar should be allowed to sponsor our nutritional bodies? Leave your comments below. 

* This post has been amended. The Chairman of the IFIC Foundation is Dr. Robert Gravani.

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