News article

NNI facilitates kick-off of International Task Force on Standardized Terminology for Therapeutic Dysphagia Diets & Fluids

Posted:  Friday, July 13, 2012

Patients who suffer from chewing and swallowing disorders, i.e. dysphagia, may have difficulties ingesting normal food and liquids. For these patients, a texture-modified diet may support the patient gain adequate nutrition.

While some regions have developed distinct standardized terminology, no uniform descriptors for prescribed dysphagia diets & fluids are used internationally.

The Nestlé Nutrition Institute is sponsoring an effort to advance standardised terminology definitions for the different modified-consistency of fluids and modified-texture foods provided as therapeutic treatment of dysphagia, through an international task force made up of internationally reputed experts. The goal is to develop professional consensus recommendations on language for texture-modified foods and fluids; to facilitate practical decision-making and action by caregivers; and to optimize dysphagia patient safety and health outcomes. 

The Task Force met for the first time at a kick-off meeting in Toronto, Canada in June, 2012.
The meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Julie Cichero, Australian Speech Pathologist and Project Officer of the Australian Standards; and Mr. Peter Lam, Dietitian and Project Lead for the Canadian Standards.

Based on discussions, next steps were planned by the 15 participants experienced in: (a) the process of standardization of terminology from a number of countries/ regions; (b) food texture modification and rheology/viscosity; (c) adult and pediatric dysphagia; (d) diverse international cuisines; (e) research expertise (f) multidisciplinary clinical expertise and (f) industry.