Reply To This Post         Return to Posts Index           VegSource Home

From: Lauren (
Subject:         Is the Institute for Integrative Nutrition a huge scam?
Date: July 9, 2013 at 10:34 am PST

"Overadvertise, oversell, overcharge, and underdeliver" -An
academic expert describing for profit schools.
For-profit schools are generally seen by most in academia as
scammy operations that 1.) charge excessive amounts 2.)
don’t offer a good education and 3.) mislead potential
students about career prospects and future financial
success. For those who are unaware of the extent of the
damage done by for-profit schools, check out these articles:

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition is similar in that
it is a for profit entity with one glaring difference in
that graduates of the program don’t obtain a real nutrition
degree, like one would if they attended four year school or
any graduate programs. The school has stated in the past
that the majority of those interested in the program want to
become a holistic health coach or counsel people on
nutrition as either a part time or full time career. Some
graduates of the program have said that 70% of the students
are employed in their field, earning a living. This number
is a gross exaggeration and this is why IIN is more a scam,
than an opportunity to enter the field of nutrition and earn
a living.

IIN is similar to another for-profit entity that taught
holistic health called Clayton school of Natural Health. A
quick google search on this school and one can see many
articles discussing it in a very negative manner.
Students have been told in the past to charge $125/hr for
counseling individuals to help improve their nutritional
status. In the almost seven years that we have talked to
countless numbers of graduates, we rarely have met someone
who is earning a living as a health coach. It’s important to
note that this is not from a lack of effort as many have set
up a website, created an extensive social media presence,
networked at functions, and tried to the best of their
ability to become a health coach to no avail.

Also interesting is that graduates can earn referral
commissions for signing up anyone they meet. It is for this
reason that we compare IIN to Amway or other multi level
marketing companies, that the majority of business experts
refer to as a scams. In these companies, people pay an up
front fee to stock up on training materials, products, etc
and when an individual recruits another, they earn a
commission of that initial fee. Rather than becoming an
entity that sells products to consumers, the company becomes
a network of sales people who recruit other sales people.
IIN is similar because the vast majority of those who
complete the program are not becoming health coaches, yet
they are able to recruit others.
Anyone residing in NY who has a strong interest in nutrition
has likely been incessantly pestered by one of the graduates
to sign up and attend IIN.
With 1,800 students per year at a cost of $5,000 per year,
they are generating revenues close to 10 million dollars per
year. (When the school was administered in person, the
school charged as much as $7,500 for the program.)

Here are the primary problems:
1.) The overwhelming vast majority of the graduates do not
become either full time or part time health coaches as they
are told. (They are told numerous times to charge $125 per
hour for nutrition coaching.) The company states 70% of
their grads are earning a living in their field. LOL. That
is all. ROFL.

2.) The company mistreats/discriminates against many of
their employees. They currently have around 150+ employees,
of which 85% are female. Three women have filed a federal
class action lawsuit against the company in the Southern
District of New York. In this lawsuit, the employees state
that they were either fired or demoted after they got
SHOCKING: Three employees who filed the suit allege the CEO
asked HR to develop a chart predicting the probability of
whether or not an employee would become pregnant, based on
various factors such as age, marriage status, etc. This
discrimination, of course, is illegal and reprehensible.
Many believe that the CEO comes across as generous, kind,
caring, and understanding. The majority of ex-employees,
current employees, etc we spoke to describe the CEO as
greedy, controlling, misogynistic, and uncaring. More proof
of the way they treat employees can be seen on Glassdoor.
The shocking details of the lawsuit can be viewed here:

3.) Dozens of websites, blogs, etc have had postings where
individuals post a critical review of their experience at
IIN. The CEO of the company has threatened, demanded, sued,
etc many of these websites or individuals to take their
postings down. Incredibly, he has succeeded in scrubbing
around much of the negative reviews. A search in the NY
court database shows four lawsuits where the CEO (Joshua
Rosenthal) has filed suit against former students and
employees. A search for these lawsuits can be done here by
searching the terms “Integrative Nutrition" and “Joshua
Rosenthal" or “Rosenthal, Joshua."

Also, one can read here how they sued an online reviewer:

4.) Columbia University disconnected their relationship with
IIN rather rapidly. Debates surround the reasoning behind
this but given all the facts listed here, isn’t it obvious

5.) Graduates of the program are told they can get a degree
from the American Asssociation of Drugless Practioners, for
a fee. First, the owner of this company has the same last
name as the CEO of IIN, but we are not aware of any evidence
that they are related in any way. Whether or not they are is
immaterial as most academics view this “association" as a
scam. One can read more about them here:

6.) If one needed further evidence that the image the CEO
portrays of kindness, compassion, growth is a facade, then
one can see where he invests his money. The CEO, Joshua
Rosenthal, in 2012, sued a restaurant owner in Miami to get
back the $1.75 million dollars he invested in a restaurant
called Cooper Ave. Available for public view are around a
dozen documents which discuss the shocking details. Mr.
Rosenthal is an investor/owner in another restaurant and
allegedly told the husband/wife team of this restaurant that
he wanted to bankroll a chain of restaurants, stating that
he has millions of dollars to back up the venture. So is
this restaurant an organic, macrobiotic spot? No. Is it a
juice bar? No. It is a fancy restaurant serving copius
amounts of conventional meat, eggs, dairy and no where in
any article, website, or blog that we could find, does it
say it uses organic produce. This is simply more evidence of
reality being quite different than the image most would have
of this individual.
In our opinion, Joshua Rosenthal became an investor in this
restaurant and after it failed, he wanted his money back,
stating it was just a loan to be paid back immediately. Him
being a previous investor in this individual’s restaurant is
just one example leading us to form this opinion. To read
all the details, go to the court page, then search using his
name. The person he is suing is Amir Ben-Zion and his
company called Pinson Group. Go here for the court page:

Also, one can view the restaurant menu here:

Summary: In sum, IIN is a for profit school that we believe
misleads people into the dream of building a career in the
field of nutrition counseling. We strongly support the
effort to improve the eating habits of Americans. Most
graduates of RD, PhD programs in nutrition are NOT
counseling individuals with their own home based/office
based business. And the ones that do typically accept
insurance and are referred by physicians. This notion that
the majority of graduates can earn a living charging $125
per hour for nutritional counseling is a pipe dream. Also,
Mr. Rosenthal is a CEO who has mistreated and discriminated
against many employees and has used lawyers to demand any
critical review of the company be removed. Oh, and he’s a
nutrition guru promoting local, organic, etc who invests in
companies that do the complete opposite.
For those interested in pursuing a career in nutrition, we
recommend obtaining a medical degree, nutrition
undergraduate degree and/or nutrition graduate degree and/or
RD certification. For those who want to learn about
nutrition, we recommend documentaries, books, etc. FYI, we
are a group of people who are all trained in nutrition and
believe most dietitians don’t understand nutrition. One
can’t make the logical leap that since most dietitians are
clueless, then enroll in IIN at earn a good living at
counseling people.

More info can be found at

Reply To This Post         Return to Posts Index           VegSource Home

Follow Ups:

Post Reply

E-mail: (optional)


Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL: