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Andy Bellatti
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

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

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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.


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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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The Big Oversight in Our Obesity Conversation

(8) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 12:30 PM

It didn't take long for the year's first controversial health study to go viral. A new systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concluded that carrying extra weight decreases the risk of death (those in the "overweight" category were 6 percent...

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The 4 Biggest Food Stories of the Year (And What They Taught Us)

(1) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 4:31 PM

Last year, I wrapped up the year in food and nutrition stories with a detailed chronological summary. This time, I want to highlight four of the year's most significant events in the realm of food, food politics, and nutrition -- and the lessons they imparted.

1. Glue, Scrape,...

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Are These 3 Nutritional Assumptions Leading You Astray?

(0) Comments | Posted October 4, 2012 | 11:32 AM

In the world of nutrition, some assumptions can easily lull you into a false sense of security.  Below, the three I've encountered most often in my nutrition practice that, once addressed, can greatly improve your health:

1) "I'm out in the sun quite a bit, so I don't need a...

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How The Obesity Focus Hurts the Health Movement

(12) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 1:07 PM

Another week, another "obesity is the enemy and it's going to kill us all!" message. Earlier this week, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released the statistic that by 2030, adult obesity rates could be as high as 60 percent in 13 U.S. states. The grim prediction went viral...

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