Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Definition




A registered dietician teaches a child how to plant basil as a part of the hospital/s efforts to promote “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” a part of National Nutrition Month,





A registered dietician teaches a child how to plant basil as a part of the hospital/s efforts to promote “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” a part of National Nutrition Month, a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
(PJF Military Collection/Alamy Stock Photo)

Origins

The Academy was founded by a group of women in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1917. Led by Lenna F. Cooper and first president Lulu C. Graves, the goal of the organization was to aid the government in food conservation and enhance the public's understanding of health and nutrition during a time of war.

Purpose

The Academy is committed to helping the public benefit from a healthy lifestyle, focusing on five critical health areas:

The Academy's mission is “leading the future of dietetics.” Every March, the Academy sponsors National Nutrition Month, providing food and nutrition information to the public through numerous programs and services.

Description

Professionals choose to belong to the Academy to receive the membership benefits. The Academy provides continuing education opportunities, access to the Academy Evidence Analysis Library, subscription to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and access to additional information and resources. Membership dues are paid annually and range from $110–$245.

RDs and DTRs

A registered dietitian is a professional who has met academic training requirements in the areas of food and nutrition. Some RDs hold additional certifications in specialized areas of practice, such as pediatric or renal nutrition and diabetes education. RDs must possess a bachelor's degree with course work approved by the Academy's Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. Coursework typically includes food and nutrition sciences, foodservice systems management, business, economics, computer science, sociology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, and chemistry. RDs must also complete an accredited, supervised, experiential practice program at a healthcare facility, community agency, or foodservice corporation, and must pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Continuing professional education is required to maintain registration.

Dietetic technicians, registered, must complete a two-year associate's degree in an approved dietetic technician program, have supervised practice experience, and pass a nationwide examination administered by the Academy to earn the DTR credential, and must complete continuing education courses throughout their careers.

Credentialing

The Academy is involved in the process of accrediting educational programs for RDs and DTRs. The development of an accreditation process was incorporated into the Academy to maintain the reputability of nutrition and dietetics education programs. RDs and DTRs must continue their education programs and meet certain eligibility requirements to keep their titles. The Academy is also affiliated with the Commission on Dietetic Registration, which oversees the registration of dietitians and diet technicians.

KEY TERMS
Diabetes—
A condition in which the body either does not make or cannot respond to the hormone insulin. As a result, the body cannot use glucose (sugar). There are two types, type 1 (formerly called juvenile onset) and type 2 (formerly called adult onset).
Medical nutrition therapy—
Dietary counseling for treating chronic disease.
Obesity—
Condition characterized by excessive weight due to accumulation of fat, usually defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above or body weight greater than 30% above normal on standard height-weight tables.
Registered dietitian—
A health professional who has a bachelor's degree specializing in foods and nutrition, as well as a period of practical training in a hospital or community setting. The title “registered dietitian” is protected by law so that only qualified practitioners who have met educational requirements can use it.
Vegetarian—
A person who does not eat meat, but usually consumes other animal products such as milk and eggs.

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND; formerly the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education, CADE) is the Academy's accrediting agency for education programs that prepare dietetic students for careers as nutrition professionals. Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, ACEND is a reliable authority on the quality of nutrition and dietetics education programs. All dietetic programs that meet their standards are accredited through ACEND.

The Commission on Dietetic Registration

The CDR consists of 11 members: 7 RDs, an RD specialist, and a DTR, who serve five-year terms; a newly credentialed RD, who serves for one year; a public representative, who serves for five years; and the chair and vice-chair, who each serve a one-year term. The CDR's certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accrediting arm of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence in Washington, DC.

Government and public policy

To help fulfill their mission, the Academy began an advocacy network based in Washington, DC. This government affairs office negotiates with state and federal legislators and agencies on public policy issues related to dietetics. Through their efforts, the Academy has influenced Medicare coverage of medical nutrition therapy, child nutrition, obesity, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and other health and nutrition concerns.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation (ANDF)

The ANDF was established in 1966 as a 501(c)(3) public charity and is the philanthropic arm of the Academy. It provides money for research, education, and public awareness programs. The Foundation's primary foci are funding of scholarships for nutrition and dietetic students, supporting food and nutrition research, providing leadership in promoting and achieving healthy weight for children, and helping to reduce the growing prevalence of childhood obesity. The ANDF's mission is to fund the future of the dietetics profession through research and education. ANDF is the largest grantor of scholarships in the nutrition and dietetic fields for graduate, undergraduate, and continuing education scholarships.

A 13-member board of directors that includes the president-elect, financial officer, and CEO of the Academy, as well as up to five public members, governs the Academy Foundation. It has an operating budget of over $7 million in endowed support for its causes and operations, donated by both individuals and industries. Approximately $1.4 million of the operating budget goes to fundraising and grantmaking activities.

Professional publications

The Academy publishes the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The peer-reviewed journal is written by and for dietetics professionals. The journal covers topics in nutritional science, medical nutrition therapy, public health nutrition, food science and biotechnology, foodservice systems, leadership and management, and dietetics education.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR

The Academy also promotes nutrition information for consumers through various media. Its website is filled with content such as news releases and consumer tips, including nutrition fact sheets, consumer FAQs, and a “Good Nutrition Reading List.” The “Find a Registered Dietitian” feature allows consumers seeking the services of an RD to search for one in their area.

Relatively new to the Academy is a series of position statements that are regularly produced by the association. These position statements encompass multifaceted issues related to nutrition and are the official opinions of the Academy on issues that affect the nutritional and health status of the public. These statements are based on the latest scientific research available and are reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

See also American Diabetes Association ; Diet and disease prevention ; Dietary counseling ; Dietary guidelines ; Dietary reference intakes (DRIs) .

Resources

WEBSITES

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Academy Position Papers.” https://www.eatrightpro.org/search-results?keyword=ACADEMY%20POSITION%20PAPERS (accessed March 19, 2018).

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.” https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend (accessed March 19, 2018).

Commission on Dietetic Registration. http://www.cdrnet.org (accessed March 12, 2018).

Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. http://www.adajournal.org (accessed March 12, 2018).

ORGANIZATIONS

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plz., Ste. 2000, Chicago, IL, 60606-6995, (312) 899-0040, (800) 877-1600, amacmunn@eatright.org, http://www.eatright.org .

Megan C.M. Porter, RD, LD
Revised by David Newton

  This information is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for professional care.