Lessons on salt for dietitians ... by a chip maker

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HOUSTON (AP) — Snack and soda makers that often are blamed for fueling the nation's obesity rates also play a role in educating the dietitians who advise Americans on healthy eating.

Plano, Texas-based Frito-Lay, Kellogg, along with Coca-Cola and others, are essentially teaching the teachers. Their workshops and online classes for the nation's dietitians are part of a behind-the-scenes effort to burnish the images of their snacks and drinks.

The practice has raised ethical concerns among some who say it gives the food industry too much influence over dietitians, who take the classes to earn the education credits they need to maintain their licenses.

In Houston last fall, Frito-Lay explained to dietitians how it removed trans fats from its Lay's potato chips and other snacks.

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