2019 Winter Trimester

Role of Applied Clinical Nutrition in Maintaining Health and Well-Being

Whether you are preparing to enter a health career or if you are already a health care or wellness professional, you are aware of the significant role that nutrition plays in maintaining health and in the prevention, management and treatment of chronic disease.

According to the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Executive Summary [http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/02-executive-summary.asp] their work was guided by two fundamental realities. First, about half of all American adults—117 million individuals—have one or more preventable, chronic diseases, and about two-thirds of U.S. adults—nearly 155 million individuals—are overweight or obese. These conditions have been highly prevalent for more than two decades. Poor dietary patterns, overconsumption of calories, and physical inactivity directly contribute to these disorders. Hence, healthcare professionals outside of the field of nutrition and dietetics also need to be prepared to help address these nutritional needs and concerns within their discipline's scope of practice. To help address this need, our Applied Clinical Nutrition Program is designed to provide sound, evidence-based nutrition information and skills for you, as current/future health care and wellness professionals, to apply within your current or future scope of practice.

As another example, nutrition plays an important role in the prevention of chronic disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, diseases and conditions that are more chronic in nature such as arthritis, cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and obesity are very common, costly as well as the most preventable of all health problems. Adequate vs. inadequate nutrition plays a role in the prevention, treatment, management and/or causation of the majority of these common chronic diseases and conditions.

Moreover, dietary risk factors have been associated with death and disability as shown by a 2010 report from the U.S. Burden of Disease Collaborators. This report identified dietary risk factors as responsible for 26% of deaths and 14% of disability-adjusted life-years (estimated as the sum of years lived with disability and life lost to premature mortality). The report goes on to say that the identified dietary risk factors included diets low in fruits, low in nuts and seeds, high in sodium, high in processed meats, low in vegetables, and high in trans fats – which is generally a typical American diet.

Given the significant role that diet and good nutrition play in maintaining health, our Applied Clinical Nutrition Program is designed to provide sound, evidence-based nutrition information for you to incorporate within your current or future scope of practice to ultimately enhance patient care and optimize individual health and well-being.