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The BDA’s fourth annual Dietitians Week is taking place from 12th-16th June and the 2017 edition promises to be the biggest yet. Dietitians Week is a chance to promote the role and expertise of dietitians to the public, press and other health professionals. We’ve decided to focus specifically on evidence and expertise this year in order to counter the often confusing and downright dangerous advice and reporting that unfortunately continue to be a part of our public discourse on nutrition and diet. While this year has seen something of a media backlash against clean eating’ and similar fads, we have also seen new nonsense diet trends gaining traction. Set against a background of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’, it has never been more important to stand up for evidence and expertise. A survey that we undertook with polling firm Populus has highlighted the continuing problem. 40% of those surveyed admitted that they had considered or tried one of 10 fad diets highlighted by the BDA in our annual ‘celeb diets to avoid’. This proportion was even higher amongst women and younger respondents. The survey also found that the public place their trust in a wide range of people for diet and nutrition advice, even those with no qualifications or skills to do so; three in five said they’d trust a personal trainer, while over a third would trust a TV Chef. POSITIVE MESSAGES TO COUNTER THE PSEUDOSCIENCE

We want our expert dietetic members and their supporters to have conversations with patients, friends 40 June 2017 - Issue 125

and colleagues about why they should ask for the facts when they read a story about nutrition or diet, and why dietitians have the expertise to make sense of it all. Dietitians Week is an opportunity to promote positive messages about nutrition to counter the fads and pseudoscience we see on blogs and in newspapers. As part of the week, we’re very excited to be holding a free public event on 12th June at Leeds Horizon entitled Eat Fact Not Fiction. We have a fantastic line up of speakers, including dietitians Anne Holdoway, Rachael Masters and Mary O’Kane, as well as blogger and campaigner Natasha Lipman, writer and ‘Angry’ chef Anthony Warner, and award winning filmmaker Kimberley Littlemore. All our speakers will be offering different perspectives on the importance of evidence and expertise in what promises to be a really interesting afternoon. You can apply for tickets online at eatfactnotfiction. If you can’t come along, we’ll be recording the whole thing and making the talks available online for all to see and share. Of course, a big part of the week’s awareness raising takes place on social media, and we are urging the dietetic profession to get involved on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share their activities from the week and promote positive messaging around the importance of evidence and expertise.

Our members always do a fantastic job of promoting the profession via tabletop stands and innovative promotion at their workplaces and we’re sure 2017 will be no different. We’re also working with partners from Sense about Science, the Science Media Centre and the British Nutrition Foundation to promote the week and important messages

about science and evidence. The BNF are holding their Healthy Eating Week during the same week, so we’ll be cross-promoting throughout the week. If you want more information on DW2017, you can visit the website at www., or get in touch by emailing

ARE YOU A BDA MEMBER? We run important campaigns such as Dietitians Week because, as the professional body and trade union for the dietetic profession, we have a vital role to play in representing, promoting and protecting our members. With approximately 80% of all HCPC registered dietitians within BDA membership, there has never been a better time to consider joining your professional body and trade union. If you are keen to share your enthusiasm, knowledge and experience and get involved in programmes to help advance dietetics and the dietetic profession, then joining the BDA is a great place to start. Membership is open to registered dietitians, dietetic support workers, dietetic students and those with an occupational interest in diet or food, so the BDA invites you to take a look at the benefits of becoming a BDA member at and consider joining at: June 2017 - Issue 125


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