Nutrition and Dietetics 426

NUTR 426: Medical Nutrition Therapy II

Prerequisite: NUTR 425

Continuation of NUTR 425

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.


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
  • Alternative and nutrition herbal therapies
  • Evolving methods of assessing health status

Students will have working knowledge of:

  • Interviewing techniques
  • Counseling theory and methods
  • Educational materials development
  • Pathophysiology related to nutrition care
  • Fluid and electrolyte requirements
  • Pharmacology: Nutrient-nutrient and drug-nutrient interactions
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy, including alternative feeding modalities, chronic diseases, dental health, mental health, and eating disorders
  • Strategies to assess need for adaptive feeding techniques and equipment
  • Health promotion and disease prevention theories and guidelines
  • Current reimbursement issues
  • Ethics of care


Students will have demonstrated ability to:

  • Counsel individuals on nutrition
  • Demonstrate a variety of documentation methods
  • Interpret medical terminology
  • Interpret laboratory parameters related to nutrition
  • Translate nutrition needs into menus for individuals and groups
  • Modify recipe/formula for individual or group dietary needs
  • Calculate and/or define diets for common conditions addressed by health promotion/disease prevention activities or chronic diseases of the general population
  • Screen individuals for nutrition risk
  • Collect pertinent information for comprehensive nutrition assessments
  • Measure, calculate, and interpret body composition data
  • Calculate enteral and parenteral nutrition formulations


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.


Review and Approval

September 2001 Updated Anne Alexander, Chair