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Published: June 8, 2024

Integrative Nutrition at the ADA Convention

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Live from Chicago: Integrative Nutrition at the American Dietetic Association’s National Conference. Over 12,000 people including dietitians, representatives from large food corporations and celebrity Tony the Tiger are swarming this expo picking up pamphlets on healthy eating and food samples. We had to take a picture with Tony, just for fun!

It’s amazing to meet and talk with so many dietitians who are committed to their work and to making a difference with their clients. And many were so glad to see us and to have a holistic perspective represented.

Across from our booth is Con Agra. Like many booths here, they are giving out free food samples. They have microwave popcorn with packaging stating how this snack food fits into the USDA healthy eating food pyramid. It counts for 40 percent of your daily grain allowance. The big red Coca-cola sign is down the way and McDonald’s is one row behind us giving away cards for free Egg McMuffins and sample materials about healthy eating.

Another booth has Sweet’N Low and Stevia in the raw. How interesting to see chemical and natural sweeteners together in one booth. Unfortunately, the first ingredient in the Stevia packet is dextrose.

One Registered Dietitian told me she wouldn’t eat half of the foods given away at the conference or tell her clients to eat them. So why are they here?

Good health is really quite simple. It begins with good food, not chemicalized artificial junk foods. While we are happy to see so many companies represented at the conference—organic, gluten-free, large companies, small companies, grower’s associations, young entrepreneurs—we need to keep our dialogue evolving to really address the health crisis in America.

What would you like to tell the ADA?


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