Nutrition in the News: Science Fact or Science Fiction – November 17

Join the Department of Food Science and Nutrition for this seminar series event featuring guest speaker Melissa Joy Dobbins, the chief executive officer of Sound Bites, Inc online via Zoom on November 17 from  1:00–2:00 p.m.


The food and nutrition conversation in media and social media often seems to be dominated by “celebrity experts” and “influencers,” which presents challenges and opportunities for credible food and nutrition experts who seek to shape the future of food. People are hungrier than ever for practical solutions that empower them to make healthier choices, while bringing back the enjoyment of food. This session explores hot topics in the news, critical-thinking skills, and communications strategies to engage people in a more positive and productive conversation about food, nutrition and health.


Melissa Joy Dobbins is the CEO of Sound Bites, Inc., and promotes sound science, smart nutrition and good food. Dobbins is best known for her Sound Bites Podcast and her media training workshops for dietitians and other credible health professionals. She has extensive media experience as a spokesperson for the food, grocery, and health care industries, and received the Media Excellence Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2016. She specializes in training other health professionals on media, social media, and presentation skills. Her trainings have a particular emphasis on creating and delivering compelling science-based messages that engage and empower audiences. Through media interviews and social media outreach, Dobbins helps people digest nutrition information so that they can make their own, well-informed decisions based on facts, not fear. As a certified diabetes educator for 25 years and a former supermarket dietitian, she shares evidence-based information and realistic solutions to help people enjoy their food with health in mind. Combining her communications expertise and agricultural interests, she leads sustainable nutrition conversations and facilitates productive dialogues about food and farming. As the host of the Sound Bites Podcast, Dobbins explores the science, psychology, and strategies behind good food and nutrition in conversations with her guests who are experts on a variety of topics ranging from fad diets to farming. The show debuted in the top 20 nutrition podcasts on iTunes and was named one of “11 Health & Fitness Podcasts You Need” by Cosmopolitan magazine, one of “8 Podcasts Worth Listening To” by Diabetes Forecast magazine, and “Best Overall” Nutrition Podcast by The Spruce Eats. Dobbins lives in Chicago with her husband and son, and her daughter is a middle school teacher. She enjoys all kinds of dancing from ballroom to ballet and is currently working toward her black belt in Shotokan Karate.