Not only does the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, organized by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offer educational sessions (on topics relating to food and nutrition science, business, entrepreneur, clinical nutrition, and food service) and a huge food product and service Expo, but it offers the opportunity to see a lot of people. As a member of the Academy, I am offered the incredible opportunity to meet and network with the largest group of nutrition professionals in the world.
I met a dietitian from Malaysia, who is the Country Representative for the American Overseas Dietetic Association. I met dietitians who work in television and have authored books. I met culinary dietitians who are chefs and provide innovative recipes to keep people healthy and satisfied with their diets. I met dietitians who make me laugh. I met “guy-a-titians” who represent <5% of our profession but are forging new territories (such as “how can I find a restroom around here?” – the men’s rooms in the convention hall are often taken over with a “women” sign). All of this diversity allows me access to more resources so that I can share more nutrition science with consumers.
It is so beneficial to belong to a professional association that connects you with thousands of colleagues across the nation. We have the opportunity to network with like minded professionals who are working in our niche by joining any one of over 25 Dietetic Practice Groups (DPG) that are offered. In addition, the Academy provides science-based position papers that support our practice by providing a summary of the available science on the topic.
In a world full of nutrition misinformation, it’s important to base our advice on science, not feelings or emotions. This is what separates us from the pseudo-professionals. So if you’re searching for sound diet, food, and nutrition advice, bookmark the Academy’s website and have access to the world’s largest group of nutrition professionals.