October 24, 2012

The Real Meaning of RD

Most of us understand that the acronym RD means registered dietitian. This blogger is trying to draw attention to her blog and states, “RD does NOT stand for “Really Dumb”.” Yes, Adele Hite is poking fun at herself and her occupation, but at the same time is very serious about the idea that her profession needs change. She uses an excellent example like the last link in her first paragraph referencing a very controversial article from the Huffington Post.

I am not sure why one of their own would take this provocative stance, but she has taken on her professional organization before and probably will again. I strongly agree with Adele that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) has gone too far in their attempt to become the only source of recognized nutritional advice. I even agree that this attempt is backfiring on them and some states are even considering (but to-date none have) stopping all licensing of RDs. My own State of Iowa is taking a hard look at the licensure of registered dietitians, presently now allowing them to expand their over reach.

Would I say that even current registered dietitians are rebelling against their own professional organization? Maybe, but a few people may be trying to reorganize it from within. This may be surprising, but if the current people remain at the helm, the organization will soon be a shell of what it was. Following the pronouncements of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will not lead to good nutrition of any type. Many of her links do point out the fallacy being promoted by the AND.

The blogger speaks the truth about the AND putting restrictions on its members about avoiding even the appearance of a conflict of interest, but the Academy receives its funds from the food industry and the pharmaceutical industry and clearly has the appearance of solid conflict of interest. This is definitely speaking with forked tongue by a professional organization. Does “do what I say – not what I do” fit the situation.

Quoting from the blog an important point “On the other hand, the “party line” approaches for weight loss are so ineffective, the federal government (and many states) won’t cover many dietitian services to help people lose weight. According to Dr. Wendy Long, chief medical officer of TennCare:

There’s really no evidence to support the fact that providing those services [from dietitians] would result in a decrease in medical cost, certainly not immediately, and even in the longer term.”

This lack of evidence may be due in part to the (sadly) limited scope of dietetic education and practice. The AND treats the USDA as if it is a scientific authority and not a government agency whose first mandate is to “strengthen the American agricultural economy.” It limits the training of RDs to USDA/HHS-approved diet recommendations despite the fact that even mainstream nutrition establishment scientists feel that the current US dietary recommendations are misguided and inappropriate.”

Follow the links in her blog to read what is behind her statements. I can only say that it would be smart to read carefully her full blog and if you have interests in this, to follow and read many of the links within her blog. I will only say that I am thoroughly enjoying reading her blog at this time. I sincerely hope to do an interview with her in the future. I fully support her position and hope that she continues to enlighten us. As a patient with diabetes, there is hope that changes will take place and either AND will change (doubtful), or a new organization will emerge to give us the correct nutritional advice we so desperately need.

We can all thank her for pulling together a few of the people knowledgeable about nutrition and dietetics that are working to correct the misinformation being foisted upon us by AND, ADA, and USDA. It is sad that the RDs that work for the USDA must spout the whole grains/low fat mantra to keep their jobs.

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