In September, Academy Shines Spotlight on Identifying and Treating Malnutrition

August 22, 2018

CHICAGO – During its September Spotlight on Malnutrition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics will raise awareness of malnutrition, promote the crucial role of registered dietitian nutritionists in identifying and treating this serious medical condition, and provide educational resources for the public and Academy members.

"Registered dietitian nutritionists and nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered possess the skills and knowledge to lead efforts on a global scale to help people who are diagnosed with malnutrition by assessing, documenting, diagnosing and managing its treatment in many and varied practice settings," said registered dietitian nutritionist Mary Russell, the 2018-2019 President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

"Access to healthful food and nutrition and education about the importance of appropriate amounts of nutrients needed for good health are part of the comprehensive treatment RDNs and NDTRs can provide," Russell said.

"Malnutrition or undernutrition in all people, and especially individuals at either side of the age continuum, may create acute, or exacerbate chronic, medical conditions, which in turn increase risk of morbidity and mortality," Russell said.

The Academy and its members will focus during each week of September on specific aspects of malnutrition:

  • Pediatric malnutrition
  • Adult malnutrition
  • Special populations and malnutrition, including people who are elderly, pregnant, overweight or obese
  • Global malnutrition

The Academy, Avalere Health and a multidisciplinary group of health care professionals have collaborated on the Malnutrition Quality Improvement Initiative to develop quality measures aimed at filling gaps in treatment programs for patients with malnutrition. The results of the collaboration will be published in the September issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The Academy will continue its focus on malnutrition October 20 to 23 at the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in Washington, D.C. The Academy's annual conference will include educational sessions for members on strategies and best practices for identifying, documenting and treating malnutrition in people of all ages.

The Academy's 2018 Public Policy Workshop, taking place immediately after FNCE® October 23 in Washington, D.C., will contain additional information for nutrition and dietetics professionals on malnutrition. After a rally October 24 on the Capitol Hill steps, Academy members will meet with their members of Congress to advocate for policies that help registered dietitian nutritionists prevent and treat malnutrition.


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