Integration of Medical Nutrition Therapy and Pharmacotherapy

Volume 110, Issue 6, Pages 950-956 (June 2010)

This paper was retired December 31, 2014, and was reaffirmed to be updated. This paper remains in effect until the updated paper is published on and the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that medical nutrition therapy (MNT), as a part of the Nutrition Care Process, should be the initial step and an integral component of medical treatment for management of specific disease states and conditions. If optimal control cannot be achieved with MNT alone and concurrent pharmacotherapy is required, the Association promotes a team approach and encourages active collaboration among registered dietitians (RDs) and other health care team members. RDs use MNT as a cost-effective means to achieve significant health benefits by preventing or altering the course of diabetes, obesity, hypertension, disorders of lipid metabolism, heart failure, osteoporosis, celiac disease, and chronic kidney disease, among other diseases. Should pharmacotherapy be needed to control these diseases, a team approach in which an RD brings expertise in food and nutrition and a pharmacist brings expertise in medications is essential. RDs and pharmacists share the goals of maintaining food and nutrient intake, nutritional status, and medication effectiveness while avoiding adverse food–medication interactions. RDs manipulate food and nutrient intake in medication regimens based on clinical significance of the interaction, medication dosage and duration, and recognition of potential adverse effects related to pharmacotherapy. RDs who provide MNT using enhanced patient education skills and pharmacotherapy knowledge are critical for successful outcomes and patient safety.

The unit of measurement for vitamin D on page 953 in the Osteoporosis section is incorrect. The unit of measure should read "800-900 IU" rather than "800-900 mg."

In the "Position of the American Dietetic Association: Integration of Medical Nutrition Therapy and Pharmacotherapy" that appeared in the June 2010 Journal (pp 950-956), there is an error in the list of reviewers on page 956:

The place of employment for Dean Elbe, BCPP, should be listed as BC Children's Hospital, Vancouver, BC, not EQJ Associates, North Reading, MA, as originally published.