Nature of the evidence base and approaches to guide nutrition interventions for individuals: a position paper from the Academy of Nutrition Sciences

Mary Hickson, Constantina Papoutsakis, Angela Madden, Mary Anne Smith, Kevin Whelan

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Abstract

This Position Paper from the Academy of Nutrition Sciences is the third in a series which describe the nature of the scientific evidence and frameworks that underpin nutrition recommendations for health. This paper focuses on evidence which guides the application of dietary recommendations for individuals. In some situations, modified nutrient intake becomes essential to prevent deficiency, optimise development and health, or manage symptoms and disease progression. Disease and its treatment can also affect taste, appetite, and ability to access and prepare foods, with associated financial impacts. Therefore, the practice of nutrition and dietetics must integrate and apply the sciences of food, nutrition, biology, physiology, behaviour, management, communication, and society to achieve and maintain human health. Thus, there is huge complexity in delivering evidence-based nutrition interventions to individuals. This paper examines available frameworks for appraising the quality and certainty of nutrition research evidence, the development nutrition practice guidelines to support evidence implementation in practice, and the influence of other sources of nutrition information and misinformation. The paper also considers major challenges in applying research evidence to an individual and suggests consensus recommendations to begin to address these challenges for the future. Our recommendations target three groups; those who deliver nutrition interventions to individuals, those funding, commissioning, or undertaking research aimed at delivering evidence-based nutrition practice, and those disseminating nutritional information to individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Early online date2 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Feb 2024

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