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If you're thirsty, drink water: end collaborations between dietetics and big food.

November 10, 2015

Growl...today I read that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the American version of the British Dietetic Association - I am registered with both) has received $1.7 million in Coca Cola funding since 2010 (the partnership is supposed to end soon; word on the street is that it was Coca Cola which pulled out. Makes it almost worse. The bottom line is also that even if it is not Coke, Pepsico and other such companies will step in - same problem).

 

Full article here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/09/28/coke-spends-lavishly-on-pediatricians-and-dietitians/?_r=0

And here'sssss Rhona from Coke:

 

'We are proud to support the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, one of the country's leading authorities in health and nutrition education. Our support of the Academy is central to our efforts to continually provide consumers with innovative options that meet their hydration needs and ever-changing tastes and information that allows them to make informed decisions about their personal well-being. Like the Academy, The Coca-Cola Company Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness understands that a healthy lifestyle involves balancing many different elements — staying physically active, consuming a balanced diet, getting enough rest — and even keeping a positive attitude." — Rhona Applebaum, PhD, Vice President, Chief Scientific & Regulatory Officer, The Coca-Cola Company.

 

Ahem.

 

'Innovative options to meet hydration needs' - Well...we're mammals, so water and herbal teas will do just fine thank you.

'Ever changing tastes' - Nope. Mammals are still drinking water. Planet Earth has still not caught up with these 'ever changing tastes' by providing rivers of fast flowing acidic soft drinks. Stupid nature. Thank God for Coke!

 

'Informed decisions about their personal well-being' - An informed decision about personal well-being would be to avoid your products like the plague Rhona darling.

 

'Even keeping a positive attitude' - Impossible to keep a positive attitude with a blood sugar spike and crash induced by one of your 'beverages'. Or after suffering that nondescript, immeasurable-by-science-but-definitely-there blah feeling we get after putting something unnatural into our body. Thanks for telling me the bit about a balanced diet though Rhona, none of us knew that - thank God Coke is there to enlighten us!

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In case you weren't aware, Coca Cola actually has a Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness. Global in scope, they say. Gosh, they are so ON it, so forward thinking! Here's a link: http://www.beverageinstitute.org/

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I'll stop with the sarcasm. This sickens me to the core. If you haven't seen Jamie Oliver's brilliant Sugar Rush documentary, please do. Here's a link to his wonderful initiative: http://www.jamieoliver.com/sugar-rush/#0qLLREpHII4EgvG2.97

I don't care how much manipulated science Coca Cola and it's highly paid, misguided (I'm being kind using that word) dietitians and scientists present - it goes against basic human decency and common sense for Coca Cola to place one foot in the the world of healthcare. Stay in the free market if you wish, but leave us to do our jobs and pass the right message on, which is to avoid Coca Cola's products if you want a healthy, vital life.

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The British Dietetic Association is not without its own version of this. Over on this lovely green island we have Coke's Thirst for Knowledge (are you laughing yet at the way they name themselves?? Repeat after me; If you're thirsty, you need water. If you don't like water, your palate is out of whack - probably too much processed food - see me for some tips to get it back into balance). It was apparently set up to support the needs of healthcare professionals and our patients (howling with appalled laughter here!). If they're so supportive, why have I never seen them attend our clinics (to get some real insight into what children and adults are facing with these drinks as a major part of their diet)? Why have they not removed their marketing ploys which interfere with tired parents trying to provide their children with a basic healthy diet? And WHY does the organisation which prides itself on saying 'trust a dietitian' have ANY connection with them?

 

There have been a fair few dietitians on Twitter moaning about Jamie Oliver and celebs getting on the anti sugar bandwagon, and asking (whining) why dietitians have not been approached by the media. Well, why do you think? Stop being so defensive and have a ponder. I don't hear enough dietitians making appalled noises about these kind of partnerships, apart from the brilliant http://integritydietitians.org/.  You moaning group of RD's spend more time mocking (ever so annoying) Paleo, quinoa, 'clean eating', low carb, high healthy fat and so on (ALL of which are healthier then a diet which contains these beverages!). So of course people are going to go to others with a visible, palpable, passionate interest in food and nutrition, like chefs and holistic health counselors. Why the caution in loudly rejecting Coca Cola fellow RD's? There is not a chance in hell that Coca Cola and it's sister products are health giving; why the caution? What I hear from a lot of co dietitians is 'everything in moderation'. It's a boring, nondescript thing to say. Stop saying it. That's what GP's say before they need to refer to us. And deeply unhelpful in this environment where everyone has an opinion, and some of those opinions downright dangerous, about nutrition. 

 

'Everything in moderation' needs to be defined. I suggest something like the following:

 

That most real food types, unprocessed, can keep us healthy when eaten in moderate amounts; they have a place in the human diet and we are thankfully, highly adaptable beings. In other words, try to eliminate processed food from your diet as much as possible, concentrate on eating from the earth (recognisable foods), mostly plant based food with some high quality unprocessed protein and drink water. If a drink comes in a can and fizzes, it is not part of that moderate diet. Therefore, we strongly recommend that soft drinks are avoided as much as possible. Because we, the RD's, claim our place at the top of the chain of food advisers and will start actively saying that we want absolutely NO connection with these companies, no matter how helpful they pretend to want to be. And that eating in moderation means eating real food in moderation, not anything which is marketed as food, but is actually a food-like-product which destroys your health with every bite.

 

Rant over.

 

Have a wonderful week everybody.

 

 

 

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