Melissa Joy Dobbins MS, RDN, CDE
Melissa is an award winning, nationally recognized food and nutrition expert, media spokesperson, speaker, blogger and podcaster with more than 20 years’ experience and a proven track record of providing real solutions for real people so they can enjoy their food with health in mind.
People are hungrier than ever for realistic options that empower them to make healthier choices, while bringing back the enjoyment of food. No one wants to feel guilty, especially when it comes to their food! Wondering whether to buy organic or conventional, what to make for dinner, which snack to grab or if dessert is okay? Melissa helps people digest food and nutrition information so they can make their own well-informed decisions based on facts, not fear – and most of all, come away with meaningful steps toward better nutrition and health.
Melissa’s background includes nearly a decade of clinical nutrition and client counseling as well as corporate wellness, public speaking, academia, and research. She’s a former supermarket dietitian, a certified diabetes educator, and also specializes in weight management, family nutrition, and food safety/technology. A former national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the National Dairy Council, Melissa has been a regular voice in the media for over 15 years. She has conducted hundreds of TV interviews and has been quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Shape, Fitness, and O Magazine. Utilizing her communications expertise, Melissa enjoys coaching other food, nutrition and wellness experts on media, social media and public speaking skills, with an emphasis on creating and delivering meaningful messages that engage and empower audiences.
Balancing work and family life, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and two children (7 and 15 years old). In 2012, Melissa started running as a “mid-life experiment” and has since completed thirteen races (ranging from 5K to 15K) as well as her first triathlon. Now she’s taking ballet for the first time in over 25 years and loving it. In the kitchen you can find her cooking up a family favorite or trying a new recipe that is not only good for you, but tastes good, too!
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 15 years of extensive media experience
- professional speaking, webinars and corporate wellness seminars
- 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
Professional Affiliations & Awards
- 2016 Media Excellence Award by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- 2014 Outstanding Dietitian of the Year by the Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Former National Media Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- National Media Spokesperson for the American Association of Diabetes Educators 2014 – 2016
- 2011 Outstanding Diabetes Educator of the Year by the Chicago chapter of the American Association of Diabetes Educators
- 2004 Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year by the Illinois Dietetic Association
- Public Relations Chair for the Chicago chapter of the American Association of Diabetes Educators since 2003
- Media Co-Chair for the Illinois Dietetic Association 2010-2012
- Board member for the Chicago Food & Nutrition Network 2006-2013
- Member: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Illinois Dietetic Association, Chicago Dietetic Association, West & North Suburban Dietetic Associations, Chicago Food & Nutrition Network, and Dietetic Practice Groups: Nutrition Entrepreneurs, Dietitians in Business and Communications, Diabetes Care and Education, Food and Culinary Professionals, Weight Management, Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition
- Speakers & Media Specialty Chair for Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG 2013-2017