News | Published January 26, 2012 | Written by Bonnie Lepro, MS, RD, LDN, chief clinical dietitian, nutrition & culinary services, Mount Nittany Medical Center

American Dietetic Association officially becomes the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Bonnie Lepro, MS, RD, LDN, Chief Clinical Dietitian

The American Dietetic Association (ADA), the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, was founded in 1917 to promote healthy diets for the nation's troops during World War I. It has since grown to an organization of nearly 72,000 members, including registered dietitians (RDs), dietetic technicians, registered (DTRs), students, educators, researchers and international affiliates.

For nearly 100 years, the ADA has been committed to improving the nation's health, and to advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Its mission: to empower its members to be the nation's food and nutrition leaders - and its vision, to optimize the nation's health through food and nutrition.

On January 1, 2012, the ADA officially changed its name to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to better suit its mission and vision. According to Sylvia Escott-Stump, president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the mission and vision will remain the same; however, the new name was chosen to better reflect the organization's science-based expertise (approximately half of all members hold advanced academic degrees, and the term "academy" designates a society of educated professionals organized to advance science). Since nutrition science underpins both wellness and disease prevention and treatment, the highest priority of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is to protect the health - and promote the nutritional well-being - of the American public, according to Escott-Stump.

"While our name has changed to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, we still have the same mission, the same powerful Eat Right message and are still bringing the same quality nutrition advice to the table as we have for nearly 100 years," said Escott-Stump in a statement. "The field of nutrition has changed over this century, and we're evolving to meet these needs - as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Whether planning nutritious meals for children in daycare centers or schools, teaching individuals with diabetes about managing their blood sugar, or saving lives with complex nutritional interventions after surgery, we are the best-qualified providers."

To learn more about the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, visit