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|Headquarters||Chicago, IL, U.S.|
|Board of Delegates|
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the United States' largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, and represents over 100,000 credentialed practitioners — registered dietitian nutritionists, dietetic technicians, registered, and other dietetics professionals holding undergraduate and advanced degrees in nutrition and dietetics. After nearly 100 years as the American Dietetic Association, the organization officially changed its name to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2012. The organization’s members are primarily registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) and nutrition and dietetic technicians, registered (NDTR) as well as many researchers, educators, students, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, clinical and community dietetics professionals, consultants and food service managers.
The Academy has faced controversy regarding corporate influence related to its relationship with the food industry and funding from corporate groups such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Mars, and others.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics was founded in 1917 in Cleveland, Ohio, by a group of women led by Lenna F. Cooper and the Academy's first president, Lulu G. Graves, who were dedicated to helping the government conserve food and improve public health during World War I. It is now headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.
The original mission of the Academy was in part to help make maximal use of America's food resources during wartime. In its first year, the Academy attracted 58 members. It remained a small organization, remaining under the 1,000 member mark until the 1930s. As the group's scope expanded, so did its membership numbers. Between the 1930s and 1960s, membership skyrocketed to more than 60,000. Growth trajectory has since stabilized, and the Academy marked its 70,000th member when a female dietitian in Texas rejoined the Academy in May 2009. Since its founding in 1917, the Academy has gained members in every decade.
An authorized seal for the organization was adopted by the Executive Board and presented to members on October 24, 1940. At its center are symbols of the three main characteristics of the profession: a balance scale, representing science as the foundation and symbolizing equality; a caduceus, representing the close relationship between dietetics and medicine; and a cooking vessel, representing cookery and food preparation. Around the main design is a shaft of wheat, representing bread, the staff of life, and stylized acanthus leaves, representing growth and life. Over the design is a cornucopia, representing an abundant food supply. Beneath the design is the motto, Quam Plurimis Prodesse ("To benefit as many as possible"). Around the edge is the name of the organization and the date of its founding written in Roman numerals.
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