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Five in One: New Nutrition Association Uses Merger to Promote Public Health

By / Dec 12, 2019 (AlexRaths/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

The American Nutrition Association formed recently to bring together key players to advance a common mission: promoting the critical role that personalized nutrition plays in public health.

A new professional organization in the nutrition field brings together several individual components that it says can best advance a unified mission.

The American Nutrition Association, announced last month, is the result of a merger of five organizations—the American College of Nutrition, Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists, Center for Nutrition Advocacy, Accreditation Council for Nutrition Professional Education, and American Nutrition Association Foundation. The goal: to emphasize the importance of personalized nutrition in improving people’s health.

“Personalized nutrition is tailored for YOU, based on your health history, health goals, lab tests, and even genetic tests,” according to ANA’s website. “It’s nutrition based on your unique biology, not broad recommendations or the latest health fads.”

In a news release, ANA CEO Michael Stroka said the new organization will address what has become a public health crisis.

“There is a profound ‘Nutrition Gap’: Relative to its power, we vastly underutilize nutrition in our health system and culture. One key reason is that most health professionals are untrained in nutrition science and practice,” Stroka said. “As a unified professional association, the ANA addresses the chronic disease crisis by equipping health professionals with the science and practice of personalized nutrition.”

While the association is new, its  has deep roots: The American College of Nutrition was founded in 1959. In the 60 years since then, nutrition-related public health challenges have increased. In a recent interview with the New Hope Network, Stroka said poor  nutrition is a major factor in the current obesity crisis and noted that scientific research shows “nutrition is also the strongest lever that can reverse the crisis.”

He said ANA will step into a void that needed to be filled. “One of the biggest drivers of change is the healthcare professionals themselves, and there was no unified profession for personalized nutrition,” Stroka added. “We have the five organizations that were each doing pieces of that work, but doing them separately: a professional society, a certifying body and accrediting body, an advocacy arm, a foundation, and a public outreach organization. It’s really just bringing together all of those.”

ANA will promote personalized nutrition “as the single most powerful and modifiable determinant of our health,” board chair Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, said in the news release.

“Genetics represents only a very small portion of the risk for chronic disease, while the overwhelming majority of the risk comes from modifiable actions we take every day,” he said. “And personalized nutrition interventions hold the potential to have a profound impact.”

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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