Thanks to Ellen Fried for sending me the announcement that Dunkin’ Donuts has just appointed a nutrition advisory committee. You might think that it needs one. As is nearly always the case, the members are mostly university professors of nutrition, medicine, and related fields, some of them quite well known. Lots of food companies are appointing such boards. PepsiCo, for example, has a breathtakingly distinguished nutrition advisory board. One of its members, Dr. Dean Ornish, also writes a column for McDonald’s. Academics join the boards in the hope that they can work from within to get the companies to produce healthier foods. I often get asked to join such boards (not this one though), but I politely decline. The goals of food companies have to be to sell more products, healthy or not. The boards make the companies look like they are trying to do something about nutrition, even if they really can’t. When I see my nutrition colleagues joining such boards, I just hope they are getting paid really well for doing so.