Disease Prevention and Treatment

Chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nutrition plays a critical role in the prevention of these chronic diseases. Registered dietitian nutritionists are uniquely qualified to prevent, treat and manage chronic disease. Nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered, are also an integral part of health care and food service management teams.

Academy members are committed to improving the health of all populations through effective nutrition policies and programs that eliminate health disparities. Health disparities exist when the differences in health outcomes are impacted by racial, ethnic, geographic or socioeconomic status. Through Academy members’ research, teaching and community outreach to provide nutrition services, the disparity margin can be narrowed in urban, suburban and rural areas.

The Academy recommends policies for disease prevention and treatment that:

  • Support medical nutrition therapy as an effective disease management strategy that reduces risk of chronic disease, slows disease progression and reduces symptoms.
  • Fund cost-effective nutrition interventions that focus on personal health practices to reduce the prevalence and severity of the leading chronic diseases in the United States.
  • Support evidence-based prevention efforts for chronic diseases.
  • Recognize the need for the comprehensive treatment of obesity, including behavioral counseling provided by qualified providers.
  • Support expansion of and investment in nutrition research at National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and United States Department of Agriculture that will help reduce the national burden of diet-related chronic diseases.