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A nutritious diet and adequate physical activity are key elements of disease prevention, but most adults do not meet population-based dietary and physical activity recommendations. Qualified nutrition and exercise practitioners can address challenges to adopting healthy lifestyle behaviors by providing consistent, individualized and evidence-based education and programming within their professional scopes of practice to improve client outcomes.

A new evidence-based practice guideline (EBPG), funded by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Council on Exercise, aims to inform practice decisions for qualified nutrition and exercise practitioners providing nutrition and physical activity interventions for adults who are healthy or have cardiometabolic risk factors, but no diagnosed disease.

While this EBPG does not provide specific dietary or physical activity recommendations, it does inform nutrition and exercise practitioners how they may utilize existing guidelines for the general population to individualize programming for a range of clients. This EBPG provides widely applicable recommendation statements and a detailed framework to help nutrition and exercise practitioners implement the latest recommendations to provide individualized, practical and evidence-based interventions that are aligned with their clients’ needs, circumstances and values, as well as to co-create interventions with the client and their allied health team.

Read the full Nutrition and Physical Activity Interventions for the General Population Guideline.

The evidence-based practice guideline was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Common barriers and facilitators encountered when delivering nutrition and physical activity interventions — such as adherence to professional scopes of practice; methods to support behavior change; and methods to support inclusion, diversity, equity, and access — are discussed and resources are provided to facilitate practice.

Updated June 27, 2023

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