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What is Medical Nutrition Therapy? A Unique Perspective

What is Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT)? Why does it seem to be a hot topic these days? How has MNT changed the lives the patients across the United States? Read on to get the answers to these questions and more.



March 6, 2017

On a cold February morning in 2010, former President Bill Clinton found himself looking more pale and tired than even his presidency had worn him. As he continued to begin his day, the realization he knew but did not want to admit became all too real:

He needed to go to the hospital.

Following complications from his 2004 bypass surgery, the former Commander in Chief had two emergency stents implanted. With his health failing, doctors tried to calm him into believing that he wasn’t going to die, but harsh words from a friend made him realize the truth: he had to change his diet.

What are the benefits of Medical Nutrition Therapy?

At the age of 66, many would find this to be quite the challenge, but the former president is living proof that real change is possible through altering your diet. Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is a therapeutic approach which seeks to remediate acute complications through specifically tailored oversight implemented by a dietitian. When implemented by a Registered Dietitian, MNT seeks to reduce the risk of developing new complications as well as addressing previous ones.

Here are just a few of the benefits of MNT:

  • Reduced risks for diseases, such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke
  • Protection from many types of cancers
  • Reducing risks from heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes
  • Decreased bone loss and reduced risk for developing kidney stones
  • Increased energy!

Since his dramatic weight loss of nearly 30 pounds, that final point is the one Bill Clinton boasts most often.

What does Medical Nutrition Therapy Include?

During an MNT intervention, Registered Dietitians counsel patients on behavioral and lifestyle changes required to impact long-term eating habits and health.

Medical Nutrition Therapy includes:

  • Performing a comprehensive nutrition assessment in order to determine the nutrition diagnosis
  • Planning and implementing a nutrition intervention using evidence-based nutrition practice guidelines
  • Monitoring and evaluating an individual’s progress over subsequent visits with the Registered Dietitian.


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