Melissa Joy Dobbins MS, RDN, CDE

Melissa and her family after receiving the Media Excellence Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Melissa and her family after receiving the Media Excellence Award
from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Melissa is The Guilt-Free RD® – “because food shouldn’t make you feel bad!” She is the CEO of Sound Bites® Inc., and promotes sound science, smart nutrition and good food. Melissa is best known for her Sound Bites Podcast and her Media Training workshops for dietitians and other health professionals.

Through her podcast interviews, social media outreach, and TV segments, Melissa helps people digest food and nutrition information so they can make their own, well-informed decisions based on facts, not fear. As a certified diabetes educator for 20 years and a former supermarket dietitian, Melissa shares evidence-based information and realistic solutions to help people enjoy their food with health in mind.

Melissa has extensive media experience as a spokesperson for the food, grocery and healthcare industries, and received the 2016 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Media Excellence Award. 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.

As the host of the Sound Bites Podcast, Melissa 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 farming to fad diets. The show was named one of “11 Podcasts You Need” by Cosmopolitan Magazine, one of the “Best RD-run Podcasts” by Today’s Dietitian Magazine, and one of “8 Podcasts Worth Listening To” by Diabetes Forecast Magazine.

Melissa lives in Chicago with her husband and son, and her daughter is a sophomore in college.  Melissa is an “accidental” triathlete and enjoys all kinds of dancing from ballet to ballroom. She has recently been learning the art of storytelling and can be seen at story slams in and around Chicago.   


1982 Miss(14) EdParrishBallet

Raised in northern and central Illinois, Melissa first became interested in nutrition when she was studying ballet at the National Academy of Arts high school in Champaign-Urbana. It was there that she saw firsthand how unhealthy habits could be detrimental to health and how susceptible we can be to fad diets and misinformation. 

Melissa went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutrition from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Science degree in Nutrition Education from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Melissa’s background includes:

  • nearly a decade of hospital-based counseling and community programs

  • more than 20 years of extensive media experience

  • launching the first consumer nutrition education program and serving as the retail dietitian for a major supermarket chain

  • eight years as communications manager for the dairy council

  • being published in the “Journal of Nutrition Education” and “The ADA Manual of Clinical Dietetics”

  • writing patient and consumer educational materials, internet articles, book reviews, radio scripts, blogs and more

  • health professional outreach, education and training

  • teaching undergraduate and graduate level nutrition courses

  • nutrition research

  • mentoring dietitians

  • volunteering in local and national nutrition organizations


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Degrees & Certifications

  • Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

  • Licensed in Illinois

  • Bachelor's degree in Food and Nutrition

  • Master's degree in Nutrition Education

  • Certified Diabetes Educator

  • Completed CDR Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management

  • Completed CDR Certificate of Training in Child & Adolescent Weight Management

Contact Melissa