The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is an organization of nutritionists, dietitians and food professionals. It is the world's largest, with over 75,000 members who hold undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, according to its website EatRightPro.org. Students are also welcome.
One of the Academy's goals is to improve public health. Hence, the Academy plays an active role in influencing the public's perception of food and food choices. As part of medical teams, the Academy's members offer nutrition therapy services in settings such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, food service organizations, businesses, research organizations, schools and private practice. Members use medical nutrition therapy to treat a variety of chronic illnesses and injuries and promote disease prevention and wellness in the community. In addition, the Academy provides expert testimony during legal hearings, offers professional opinions on proposed laws and regulations, and issues statements on vital nutrition-related issues.
Another goal of the Academy is to advance the dietetics profession through education, research and advocacy. Its advocacies include disease prevention and treatment through nutrition, life cycle nutrition and healthy food systems and access. It also has a political action committee that actively lobbies the government on issues related to health care reform, nutrition in schools, food safety and HIV/AIDS.