Laura Combs: Dietitians need diet

February 19, 2013 

Dietitians need diet

The Suzanne Havala Hobbs Feb. 13 column “Oversight essential for dietitians” is absurd.

Hobbs trumpets dietitians and licensure. If licensed dietitians are paramount to health, why are 32.8 million Americans diabetic, 68 million suffering high blood pressure and 35.7 percent struggling with obesity? Why do the numbers rise?

With these deadly numbers I would hope dietitians would respond with humility, not the hubris Hobbs does. The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which represents 74,000 dietitians, has received a significant amount of funding from corporate sponsors, including Mars, Coca-Cola, Hershey and Pepsi, and if these companies donate enough they are permitted to educate dietitians.

Do dietitians need licensure? You bet they do, given their deadly failure rate and their corporate junk food educators. Should dietitians be allowed a virtual monopoly by being the only people allowed to provide guidance on food choices? Seriously? Not in a million years. People continue to get sick and die with their guidance.

I urge the legislature to end the dietitian monopoly. Keep the licensure requirement because dietitians need regulation given their abysmal failure rate, but eliminate their monopoly and allow others to practice. Clearly there is no need to regulate who can talk about food.

Laura Combs


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