Newswise — CHICAGO – Membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has reached the highest level in the Academy’s 97-year history, representing the ninth consecutive year of membership growth. The Academy’s membership as of April 30 was 75,609, an increase of 542 members from the previous year.
Following several years of declining membership in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Academy’s membership began rising in 2005-2006 – passing the 70,000 mark in 2009 – and has increased each year since.
“My thanks and congratulations to the ever-growing number of food and nutrition professionals who view membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as valuable in enhancing their skills and advancing their careers,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Dr. Glenna McCollum.
Approximately 74 percent of the nation’s practicing registered dietitian nutritionists are Academy members. In comparison, about 80 percent of other membership associations have market penetration below 70 percent.
“One especially welcome development is growth among members under 30 years of age,” McCollum said. “The Academy has made strong efforts and visible progress in recent years, creating many benefits and initiatives to involve younger food and nutrition professionals.”
These initiatives include the Student Advisory Committee; the New Member Subcommittee of the Academy’s Member Value Committee; the Thirty and Under in Nutrition and Dietetics member interest group; and opportunities for young members to serve in leadership positions in the House of Delegates, the Commission on Dietetic Registration and the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.
The most popular reasons given by members for joining the Academy or renewing their membership include: belonging to the dietetics profession’s leading member organization; extensive professional and career development programs; opportunities to network with colleagues, including membership in state and regional affiliate associations and specialized dietetic practice and member interest groups; the Academy’s effective role as the leading advocate for the dietetics profession with health care providers and government; and members’ ability to access the monthly Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as well as patient and client education materials developed by the Academy.
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 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.