Investigation finds the food industry pays influencer dietitians
On this edition of Your Call’s One Planet Series, we discuss a joint investigation by The Washington Post and The Examination about how the food, beverage, and dietary supplement industries are paying dozens of registered influence dietitians to help sell products and deliver industry-friendly messages on social media platforms on Instagram and TikTok.
The analysis of thousands of posts found that companies and industry groups paid dietitians for content that encouraged viewers to eat candy and ice cream, downplayed the health risks of highly processed foods, and pushed unproven supplements — messages that run counter to decades of scientific evidence about healthy eating. The review found that among 68 dietitians with 10,000 or more social media followers on TikTok or Instagram, about half had promoted food, beverages or supplements to their combined 11 million followers within the last year.
Dr. Caitlin Gilbert, neuroscientist and Well+Being data reporter at The Washington Post