Newswise — CHICAGO – While many professional member associations in the United States are experiencing membership declines, membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics rose in the past year to 75,067 – the largest in the Academy’s 96-year history and the eighth consecutive year of growth.
For the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the Academy experienced an overall 1.6 percent increase in members.
Following a number of years of declining membership in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Academy membership began rising in 2005-2006 – passing the 70,000 mark in 2009 – and has been increasing each year since.
“My thanks and congratulations to all food and nutrition professionals who view the Academy as a valued destination for enhancing their skills and advancing their careers,” says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Ethan A. Bergman.
“Our member benefits include an aggressive focus on programs and services. These include the ability to network with other professionals; informative and award-winning print and electronic publications; successful public and media outreach; online resources such as the Academy’s Evidence Analysis Library; and the ability to utilize the Academy’s career planning resources,” Bergman says.
“In short, we offer food and nutrition professionals the highest levels of support, benefits and services they need to prosper,” Bergman says.
Approximately 74 percent of the nation’s practicing registered dietitians are Academy members; in comparison, about 80 percent of membership associations have market penetration below 70 percent. Two percent of Academy members are dietetic technicians, registered.
“As a generalist organization, the Academy’s market share compares very favorably to similar associations,” Bergman says. “National organizations that represent a general industry have a market share between 20 percent and 50 percent.”
All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The Academy’s Board of Directors and Commission on Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential registered dietitian (RD) may optionally use “registered dietitian nutritionist” (RDN) instead. The two credentials have identical meanings.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.