The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) together announce their
support of a new global initiative to standardize diets for the treatment of people
who suffer from swallowing disorders.
Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative (IDDSI) created global standardized
terminology and definitions for texture-modified foods and thickened liquids to
improve the safety and care for individuals with dysphagia, a swallowing
disorder, which affects an estimated 560 million people worldwide.
"The Academy, our members and multidisciplinary
colleagues look forward to collaboratively working to implement this important
new framework to help Americans suffering from swallowing disorders," said
registered dietitian nutritionist and the Academy's 2016-2017 President Lucille
Beseler, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE, FAND.
"The standardization framework represents a tremendous
step forward in collaborating in the care of people with swallowing disorders,"
said 2017 ASHA President Gail J. Richard, PhD, CCC-SLP. "With ASHA members on
the front lines of treating these patients every day, we support tools that
help us improve quality of care."
Dysphagia can occur at any time throughout a person’s
life. The most common causes are related to underlying medical or physical
conditions. In severe cases, this dysphagia can lead to life-threatening chest
infection, pneumonia, malnutrition, or dehydration.
One of the most common ways of managing dysphagia is
the provision of texture-modified foods and thickened liquids. These modified
foods and drinks are provided to help reduce the risk of choking or having
material entering the lungs airway and may be commonly referred to as a
The Academy's Evidence
Based Practice Committee (EBPC) reviewed IDDSI's 2015 article, "The
Influence of Food Texture and Liquid Consistency Modification on Swallowing
Physiology and Function: A Systematic Review, Dysphagia," and determined the
methodology is sound. Based on this and other reviews, Academy leaders in
October 2016 voted to support the adoption of IDDSI.
IDDSI's multidisciplinary effort to gather information from clinicians around
the world that led to the IDDSI framework and methods for standardizing both
food and drink, and its Board of Directors passed a resolution in 2016 to
support the IDDSI Framework.
IDDSI is leading the implementation of this program in
21 countries throughout the world.
registered dietitians are nutritionists—but not all nutritionists are
registered dietitians. The Academy's Board of Directors and Commission on
Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential
registered dietitian (RD) may optionally use "registered dietitian
nutritionist" (RDN) instead. The two credentials have identical meanings.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of
food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the
nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research,
education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.
Speech-Language Hearing Association is the national professional, scientific
and credentialing association for 186,000 members and affiliates who are
audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language and hearing
scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and
students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and
balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing
aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess and treat speech and
language problems, including swallowing disorders. www.asha.org