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Andy Bellatti
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Andy Bellatti, MS, RD, is a Las Vegas-based dietitian who approaches nutrition from a whole-foods, plant-centric framework. He also takes a strong interest in food politics, nutrition policy, and deceptive food industry marketing tactics. He is the creator of Dietitians for Professional Integrity, a group that advocates to eliminate Big Food sponsorships in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Follow Andy on Twitter to keep up with the latest nutrition and food politics news.

Entries by Andy Bellatti

Think a Soda Tax Is Regressive? Try Diabetes

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 11:38 AM

The beverage industry has a variety of go-to defense arguments when faced with the threat of a soda tax like San Francisco's Proposition E. "Freedom of choice" is popular, and a deliberate misrepresentation of the issue, since soda taxes are not bans. Then there is the familiar insistence that education,...

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The High Cost of Sitting Down With Industry

(1) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 3:36 PM

Is it possible for the food industry to be part of the solution to our country's nutrition-related health woes, or is it simply part of the problem?

Big Food and Big Soda cling to, and propagate, the myth that they are "sitting at the table" with health organizations to tackle...

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Processed Feud: How the Food Industry Shapes Nutrition

(1) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 10:57 AM

What exactly does "processed food" mean? According to a new position paper from the American Society For Nutrition (ASN) processing means "the alteration of foods from the state in which they are harvested or raised to better preserve them and feed consumers." By this definition, processed...

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Why The Makers of Animal Growth Hormones Shouldn't Control the Hunger Debate

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 1:46 PM

When I heard that Elanco -- the global pharmaceutical company behind recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), an artificial growth hormone, and various antibiotics used on livestock farms -- was reaching out to dietitians to educate them about farming, my red flag went up.

Next month, Elanco, which is owned...

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Nutrition Label 2.0: Bigger, Bolder, Better

(6) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 11:37 AM

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama -- known for her role in the Let's Move! campaign -- announced the Food and Drug Administration's proposed changes to The Nutrition Facts label. These are the first changes to the familiar black-and-white informational text box since its inception in 1993. And they couldn't have...

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Marketing Masquerading as Science

(2) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 3:34 PM

When it comes to resources -- whether they be human, financial, or technological -- the food industry is stocked with a mighty arsenal. Big Food's spending power is most often evidenced by its multi-million dollar marketing campaigns.

A few examples:

-- McDonald's spent $115 million...

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Front Groups: Big Food's Behind-the-Scenes Strategy

(8) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 10:00 AM

This blog is part of a series that explores the themes and issues raised in Farmed and Dangerous, a 4-part satirical web series exploring issues related to the food system and industrial agriculture. If you're interested in joining the conversation, please contact us at FoodForThought@huffingtonpost.com.

...
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Box Tops Help Big Food's Bottom Line

(1) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 2:37 PM

The enactment of policies to curb marketing to children has been, to put it mildly, an uphill battle in the United States. While television ads and billboards are the most blatant examples, the more subtle -- yet just as pervasive -- variations are the most troubling.

Earlier...

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Yes, You Can Lose Weight Eating Nothing But McDonald's, But That's Not the Point

(9) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 11:39 AM

One week into the new year and we've got our first viral weight-loss story. The gist: "Man loses weight eating McDonald's-only diet." This particular angle on weight loss is far from groundbreaking. Remember the man who ate nothing but potatoes for 60 days in 2010 and...

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The Year in Food: McD's, Big Food Tweets, Great Reads, and GMO Seeds

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 10:59 AM

It's almost the end of December, which means it's time to look back at the year's highlights and lowlights. In 2011, I opted for a straightforward chronological review of that year's major food and nutrition issues. Last year, I took a more didactic approach, pointing out the lessons...

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The Food Ties That Bind: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2013 Conference

(2) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 4:54 PM

Last month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics held its annual conference (The Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, also known as FNCE) in Houston, Texas. This week, Dietitians for Professional Integrity -- an advocacy group co-founded by 14 dietitians that advocates for the Academy to...

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Coca-Cola's Assault on Tap Water

(292) Comments | Posted November 15, 2013 | 9:39 AM

While public health advocates have sung the praises of tap water for years, Coca-Cola has been focusing on its own covert assault on the affordable, healthful, and refreshing beverage.

Unbeknownst to many in the nutrition and public health world, the soft drink giant launched a  "Cap the Tap" program --...

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Children Are Eating Too Much Sugar, but Halloween Is Not to Blame

(4) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 3:01 PM

Without fail, Halloween brings up concerns over children's chocolate and candy intake. It's largely understandable. It is not unusual for children to finish a night of trick-or-treating with several pounds of candy in tow.

As a nutrition professional, though, Halloween is the least of my concerns. It only comes once...

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4 'Healthwashing' Pitfalls to Watch Out For

(15) Comments | Posted October 20, 2013 | 10:42 AM

It is no secret that the food industry is a master of deceptive marketing. Its liberty with the term "natural" (largely due to the Food and Drug Administration's refusal to come up with a strict definition) has been covered extensively, as have countless examples of "healthwashing"...

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Let's Retire These Damaging Mainstream Nutrition Beliefs, Please

(275) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 12:45 PM

I often write about the external factors that pose a threat to our health, including (but not limited to) Big Food's egregious advertising budgets, "healthwashed" and "farmwashed" food products and the litany of questionable chemical additives abundant in our food supply.

...

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Take Sodium Reduction Advice With a Grain of Salt

(4) Comments | Posted October 2, 2013 | 2:41 PM

For years, the public health nutrition field has warned Americans about the risks associated with a high-sodium diet. This past April, the New York City Department of Health launched a sodium-reduction campaign encouraging the purchase of lower-sodium packaged foods. More recently, the American Journal of Hypertension published

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Seeking Longevity? Eat Real Food

(137) Comments | Posted August 22, 2013 | 11:30 AM

Bolivian indigenous farmer Carmelo Flores made global headlines this week as "the oldest person to have ever lived." Though that claim has yet to be verified, part of Mr. Flores' story is that he attributes his longevity to a traditional Andean diet of quinoa, riverside mushrooms, and coca...

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The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Big Food Controversy

(11) Comments | Posted June 28, 2013 | 5:41 PM

This past February, I created Dietitians for Professional Integrity, a group co-founded with 15 other registered dietitians that advocates for ethical and socially responsible sponsorships within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This came on the heels of the release of public health lawyer Michele Simon's...

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The Latest McFib: Our Food Is Healthy

(7) Comments | Posted April 2, 2013 | 4:01 PM

Last week, in what is yet another example of Big Food's symbiotic relationship with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), McDonald's Director of Nutrition, registered dietitian Dr. Cindy Goody, spoke to her fellow colleagues at the Utah Dietetic Association meeting about the chain's new "healthy initiatives." McDonald's is such...

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What You Don't Know About Processed Food

(234) Comments | Posted February 26, 2013 | 1:52 PM

You've heard of pink slime. You know trans fats are cardiovascular atrocities. You're well aware that store-bought orange juice is essentially a scam. But, no matter how great of a processed-food sleuth you are, chances are you've never set food inside a processing plant...

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