Dietitians Association of Australia, industry sponsorship documentation

Dietitians Association of Australia
Certifies Accredited Practicing Dietitians (APD) in Australia
$0.5-1.5 million (click here to see how this was calculated)
Australian Healthy Food Guide Magazine, AIA Australia, Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum1Almond Board of Australia, Australian AvocadosCampbell Arnott’s, Cobram Estate, Egg Nutrition Council, Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council, Guild Insurance, Jalna Dairy Foods Pty LtdMeat & Livestock AustraliaNestlé Australia, Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition2

Interpretation: Up to $1.5 million, or nearly 37% of the DAA’s revenue, may be from corporate sources. Not surprisingly, some of the DAA’s activities make it look less like an evaluator of, and more like an collaborator with, the food industry. Michele Simon cites one example:

‘In the fall of 2014, DAA partnered with Nestlé in their “Nestlé Choose Wellness Roadshow”, which traveled across six cities in Australia promoting allegedly healthy eating. The tour proudly proclaimed that, “Nestlé products are ideal partners to help you invite more fresh food into your diet.” These products include MILO (a chocolate milk mix) with 12g of sugar per service (about 2.5 teaspoons) and Maggi noodles (similar to Top Ramen).’ 3

DAA has also been known to endorse dietitians working in industry, including PepsiCo and Kellogg’s.4 Indeed, one spokesperson for DAA, who also speaks in seminars at Coca-Cola, in 2011 published a paper that argued that sugar may not, in fact, cause weight gain.5

The mission of the DAA is “leadership in dietetics, food and nutrition for healthier people and healthier nations.6 However, given 1. the high proportion of funding from the food industry industry (up to 37%); 2. its known promotion of processed food products (Nestlé, Ramen-like noodle products, etc.); 3. endorsement of dietitians working in industry and attempting to call into doubt criticisms against processed food, it is reasonable to conclude that DAA’s conflicts of interest may influence its advocacy, educational, and policy commitments.

  1. Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum (ABCMF) consists of “Australia’s leading breakfast cereal manufacturers”: “Carman’s Fine Foods, Freedom Foods, Kellogg Australia, Nestlé Australia, Popina Foods and Sanitarium. These ABCMF members produce approximately 80 per cent of the breakfast cereal purchased in Australia.” See Australia Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum, “A new chapter for breakfast cereals,” http://www.cereal4brekkie.org.au/a-new-chapter-for-breakfast-cereals/.
  2. Bolded are “Major Partners,” according to DAA. What this means is not clear. See Dietitian’s Association of Australia, “Partners,” http://daa.asn.au/advertising-corporate-partners/program-partners/.
  3. Michele Simon, And Now A Word From Our Sponsors: Is the Dietitians Association of Australia in the Pocket of Big Food?, February 2015, 4, http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/DAAReportEatDrinkPolitics.pdf.
  4. Ibid., 7.
  5. Alan W. Barclay and Jennie Brand-Miller, “The Australian Paradox: A Substantial Decline in Sugars Intake over the Same Timeframe that Overweight and Obesity Have Increased,” Nutrients 3, 4 (2011), 491-504, http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/3/4/491.
  6. Dietetics Association of Australia, “Dietetics Association of Australia > For the Public > About DAA,” http://daa.asn.au/for-the-public/about-daa/.
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