The American Dietetic Association is the largest network of nutrition and food experts in the world. Since its inception in 1917, ADA has grown to over seventy thousand members1. Besides credentialing Registered Dietitians and Dietitian Technicians, ADA publishes a monthly peer-reviewed journal (JADA) and runs a non-profit charity (ADAF) to support research and educational programs in the field.
This year ADA held its annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo September 24-27 in San Diego. During the opening remarks ADA's current president Sylvia Escott-Stump announced a name change to the organization – the American Dietetic Association will be the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, effective January 2012.
Why the name change? Changing the name emphasizes a dietitian’s role in overall nutritional health in addition to dietetics. In my opinion, nutrition is also much better understood to most of the population than dietetics. "By adding nutrition to our name, we communicate our capacity for translating nutrition science into healthier lifestyles for everyone. Keeping dietetics supports our history as a food and science-based profession. Thus, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics quickly and accurately communicates our identity—who we are and what we do," said Escott-Stump, ADA president2.
A lot goes into a name change – for one, the acronym! No more ADA, which was easily confused with the American Diabetes Association or American Dental Association. Goodbye ADA, hello AND. This new acronym will likely trickle down:
Name Before….& After?
- Journal of the American Dietetic Association (JADA)…Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (JAND)?
- Maryland State Dietetic Association (MDA)…the Maryland Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MAND)?
- My alma mater, West Virginia University Student Dietetic Association (WVU-SDA)…West Virginia Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (WVU-SAND)?
I asked fellow interns their take on the new name and the overall consensus was positive. I'm curious to see if the name change will influence the structure of the organization. One thing is for sure: it marks a new era for nutrition and dietetics. I feel lucky to be starting my career as a dietitian during this revitalization. What are your opinions on ADA's name change?
1ADA’s website http://www.eatright.org/joinada/, 2Press Release http://www.eatright.org/Media/content.aspx?id=6442465361