Nutrition and Dietetics 425

NUTR 425: Medical Nutrition Therapy I

Prerequisites: BIOL 322, CHEM 101 or CHEM 120, CHEM 103, NUTR 300, NUTR 303, NUTR 316, NUTR 317, and senior standing

Credit Hours: (4)

The theoretical basis for diet modification in disease integrated with knowledge of human physiology, immunology, pharmacology, and biochemistry. Students are introduced to skills required of the professional nutrition care specialist and plan modified diet for select medical conditions.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

NUTR 425 and 426 are each part of a two-part series concerning the theoretical basis for diet modification in disease and medical nutrition therapy. Students are introduced to the skills required of the Registered Dietitian.

The laboratory portion of this 4-credit class will be integrated with the lecture time.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The class will be structured using learning modules organized by similar disease states or Medical Nutrition Therapy interventions. Each module contains 3 basic parts.

Part I: Preparation

Prior to class, students will be required to complete assigned reading, and answer a series of questions that demonstrate comprehension, or require assimilation of information. Students may also be required to research and obtain client education materials that will be evaluated in Part II.

Part II: Class Learning

Part I will be reviewed as needed. Then, relevant case studies will be presented and discussed. Additional class learning strategies will include practice calculations, development and evaluation of therapeutic diets, interdisciplinary guest speakers, mock counseling sessions, practice and evaluation of documentation methods, discussion of reimbursement issues, discussion of alternative therapies, and evaluation of education materials. Students will be exposed to a variety of professional tools for the RD, such as diet manuals, MNT protocols, and nutrition analysis software.

Part III: Application

The final segment of the module will require the student to apply the information learned from Parts I and II. Students will complete a case study that will require critical thinking about the individual characteristics as well as medical condition of the client/patient as they relate to the MNT care process.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will have basic knowledge about:

  • Lay and technical writing
  • Media presentations
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Counseling theory and methods
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Educational theory and techniques
  • Educational materials development
  • General health assessment, e.g., blood pressure and vital signs
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Nutrient metabolism
  • Pathophysiology related to nutrition care
  • Fluid and electrolyte requirements
  • Pharmacology: nutrient-nutrient and drug-nutrient interaction
  • Health behaviors and educational needs of diverse populations
  • Sociocultural and ethnic food consumption issues and trends
  • Role of food in promotion of a healthy lifestyle
  • Evolving methods of assessing health status
  • Assessment and treatment of nutritional health risks
  • Medical nutrition therapy
  • Strategies to assess need for adaptive feeding techniques and equipment
  • Health promotion and disease prevention theories and guidelines
  • Influence of socioeconomic, cultural, and psychological factors on food and nutrition behavior
  • Complementary and alternative nutrition and herbal therapies
  • Dietary supplements
  • Calculate and/or define diets for health conditions addressed by health promotion/disease prevention
  • Health care policy and administration
  • Health care delivery systems
  • Current reimbursement issues, policies, and regulations

Students will have demonstrated ability to:

  • Use oral and written communications in presenting an educational session for a group
  • Counsel individuals on nutrition
  • Document appropriately a variety of activities
  • Explain a public policy position regarding dietetics
  • Use current information technologies
  • Interpret medical terminology
  • Interpret laboratory parameters relating to nutrition
  • Interpret current research
  • Calculate and interpret nutrient composition of foods
  • Modify recipe/formula for individual or group dietary needs
  • Screen individuals for nutritional risk
  • Collect pertinent information for comprehensive nutrition assessments
  • Determine nutrient requirements across the lifespan
  • Translate nutrition needs into food choices and menus for people of diverse cultures and religions
  • Measure, calculate, and interpret body composition data
  • Calculate enteral and parenteral nutrition formulation


Assessment Measures

Grades will be computed based on quizzes, participation in classroom activities and projects and total points earned for each component of the modules. In addition, for the final exam, students will prepare a poster presentation on a specific Medical Nutrition Therapy case that will be shared with FDSN faculty and invited guests or presented at a community event.


Other Course Information

This course, in part, fulfills the requirements for the Didactic Program in Dietetics approved by the American Dietetic Association.



December 2002 Updated Anne Alexander, Chair

Revised 3/6/09