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5 Functions of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is a branch of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that is responsible for accrediting college and university programs in these subjects. Though you may want to look at some of the functions that it performs, you’ll also want to get an idea of what the entire organization does every day.

College and University Accreditation

Accreditation of college and university programs is the main functions of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. According to its official website, ACEND accredits programs in registered dietitian nutritionist and registered dietitian technician programs. It also accredits the internships that are available in those subjects. To obtain accreditation for an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s program, a college must show proof that the courses students take will prepare them for working in dietetics and that any work they do will lead to a college degree.

Related: 30 Best Value Food Science Degrees

Nutrition Research

Research into nutrition is another of the functions of this organization. Research determines the number of calories that people need to eat, how certain foods can impact the general health of children and the importance of food safety policies. It also conducts research into whether certain foods can treat specific diseases and whether select foods can reduce the risk that people will develop certain medical conditions. Research that the organization did in the past led to major reforms within the health care industry.

Nutrition and Dietetics Publications

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics releases several publications that inform the general public about the research it performed and news relating to food production and safety. Those publications include The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which many view as the main professionals journal in the nutrition field. Food/2 was an older magazine that the organization published that featured simple articles that were easier for the general public to read. It also publishes several pocket guides, which are smaller and shorter guides that teach the public about topics like lipid disorders and diabetes.

Certification Programs

If you want to work as a registered dietitian or nutritionist, you must obtain certification from this organization. The Registered Dietitian program is open to anyone who graduated from an accredited or approved bachelor’s program and completed a fieldwork experience. You must also pay an application fee, pass a certification test and agree to continue with your education. The Registered Dietitian Technician program requires that applicants have an associate’s degree, complete a minimum of 450 hours of fieldwork and pass the certification exam.

Lobbying for New Programs

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which is the head organization of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, does lobbying for new programs as well. It lobbies the government to make major changes that will improve the health of the general public. The AND was one of the first American organizations that asked the government to regulate who could provide patients with medical advice, which led to licensing programs for nutritionists. Some of its lobbying takes place through special programs it offers like its Kids Eat Right program. Kids Eat Right warns children of the dangers of unhealthy eating habits and offers tips and recipes via its official website.

Accreditation for college programs is important because it lets students know that those approved programs will prepare them for working on the job. The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics performs other functions beyond accreditation, including lobby for new programs and offer certification programs.

 

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