September Spotlight on Malnutrition Month: Academy Calls on Congress to Pass Medical Nutrition Therapy Act

September 1, 2020

CHICAGO – The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics urges Congress to pass the bipartisan Medical Nutrition Therapy Act, which would be a crucial step in identifying and treating people with malnutrition

"Preventing this serious medical condition would save taxpayer dollars, improve health care quality and most importantly, improve the lives of older adults who are needlessly suffering from the effects of poor nutrition," said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy Spokesperson Lauri Wright

"Registered dietitian nutritionists are the key to identifying and treating patients with malnutrition by administering medical nutrition therapy, or MNT," Wright said

"Older adults diagnosed with malnutrition have no access to outpatient MNT through Medicare. Passage of the Medical Nutrition Therapy Act would provide coverage for Medicare beneficiaries to obtain treatment from RDNs for malnutrition and many common and costly chronic diseases," Wright said

"The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated how essential it is to support strong nutrition interventions," Wright said. "Patients with COVID-19 who also have nutrition-related chronic diseases experience poorer outcomes, and the burden of the pandemic is especially high among minority populations. The Academy is proud to support the Medical Nutrition Therapy Act as a part of the solution for malnutrition in Medicare beneficiaries."

The Medical Nutrition Therapy Act is a key area of focus during the Academy's September Spotlight on Malnutrition Month. In addition to its advocacy efforts, the Academy will raise awareness of malnutrition by providing educational resources to Academy members and the public.

Beginning September 9, the Academy will host a free weekly webinar series at 1 p.m. Central time for members and non-members:

  • September 9: COVID-19 and Malnutrition
  • September 16: Increasing Access to MNT: A Solution for Malnutrition
  • September 23: Health Equity, Food Security and Malnutrition
  • September 30: Malnutrition Quality Measures across Practice Settings.

The Academy created a Spotlight on Malnutrition Month 2020 communications toolkit that includes social media and website messaging and social media assets.

The Academy will host a Spotlight on Malnutrition Twitter chat on September 22 at noon Central time using the hashtag #MalnutritionChat. Visit

In addition, the Academy is an ambassador of ASPEN Malnutrition Awareness Week October 5 to 9.


Representing more than 100,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners, 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