Many of my friends nodded politely a few weeks back when I told them that I had been elected to the Institute of Medicine. They knew from the tone of my voice that this election was a huge honor for me. But, despite my enthusiasm, the announcement was generally met by a few moments of awkward silence. Some of my friends admitted that they had no idea what the IOM actually does.
The nutritional fable goes something like this: Rather than criticize industry for its questionable practices, health organizations should "sit at the table" with industry leaders and see what compromises can be reached. This all sounds wonderfully cooperative and democratic, but it also ignores some stark realities.
News came in the past week that the front-of-pack nutrition guidance program offered by Canada's Heart and Stroke Foundation, presented as a seal of approval in the form of a check mark, was being decommissioned. With all due respect to my friends at the Foundation, and the good intentions that brought the system into existence -- good riddance to it.