Model Practice Act
As the Academy seeks to modernize dietetics laws across the country, the Model Practice Act represents our stance on licensure by providing a comprehensive, inclusive and uniform framework that:
- serves as a prototype that can be adapted by legislators to fit the needs of states
- protects consumers by identifying qualified nutrition providers and ensuring providers of medical nutrition therapy have met consistent standards
- supports access to timely, cost-effective nutrition care
Although individual states may introduce modifications and accommodations, the core principles and policies of the model legislation serve as a valuable guide during the drafting process by supporting bills that:
- License and regulate qualified nutrition professionals
- Allow practitioners to practice at their level of competence, thereby ensuring access to timely, qualified nutrition care
- Unless otherwise exempt, require a license for the narrowly tailored provision of medical nutrition therapy — the practice of which presents a clear risk of harm to the public if not provided by qualified practitioners
By upholding the principles of public protection, ethical practice and professional competence, the Model Practice Act underscores the Academy’s commitment to promoting excellence in the field of nutrition and dietetics and protecting the public.
The Model Practice Act is subject to ongoing modifications to reflect evolving industry practices, advancements in research and practice, and changes in professional regulation. For the most up-to-date version of the model legislation, please contact the Academy’s Policy Initiatives and Advocacy office.
What Does “Dual Pathway” Mean?
The Academy supports a dual pathway to licensure, or different routes or methods through which individuals can obtain a professional license. This allows flexibility in how different professionals can meet licensing criteria, and accommodates different educational requirements, experiences or competencies with respect to providing nutrition care services and medical nutrition therapy.
What is Medical Nutrition Therapy?
Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is a specialized area of nutrition practice that involves the use of individualized nutrition interventions to treat or manage medical conditions and diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, kidney disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and many others. It plays a crucial role in optimizing a person's nutritional health to improve their overall well-being and manage or prevent specific medical conditions. MNT is typically provided by registered dietitian nutritionists or other qualified nutrition professionals who are trained to assess a person's nutritional needs, create personalized dietary plans and monitor the effectiveness of the nutrition therapy.
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