Medical Nutrition Therapy is a novel medical approach that embraces the concept of a balanced diet and prevents the occurrence of chronic diseases in the vulnerable populace.
Our ability to juggle between personal and professional life has significantly decreased in the 21st century, leading to skewed sleeping patterns and propensity for an unhealthy diet. In developed countries, especially in the U.S., the fast-food epidemic has reached inconceivable proportions, leading to the prevalence of obesity and diabetes. People who don’t indulge in eating fast-food are also prone to such medical conditions, as their meals don’t supply them with the necessary nutrients that comprise a balanced diet. Moreover, having an incomplete diet also affects facets of their daily life, such as reduced energy levels and lethargy after meals, inability to think clearly and execute tasks, and reduced levels of concentration. In fact, poor diet is considered among the greatest health and societal challenges of our time.
Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is a modern procedure to treat chronic conditions that have resulted as a result of an unhealthy diet for a prolonged period. It is an evidence-based medical approach that tailors the nutrition plan of an individual based on their underlying condition and genetics. One example is called macronutrient preload, where patients suffering from type 2 diabetes eats small amounts of macronutrients at a fixed interval before a meal. It helps patients consume lower amounts of food rich in fats and cholesterol, as fibers in a preload stimulate a feeling of fullness in the stomach. In addition to diabetes, MNT can play a life-changing role in reducing complications associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer, food allergies, and immune system disorders.
While a primary care physician orders and approves the nutrition plan, a registered dietitian implements it. During the assessment, a kitchen inspection is conducted that evaluates the patient’s physical state and assess overall nutritional needs. The information gathered during the assessment is used to provide patient-centered goals and individualized nutrition recommendations. Along with the patient, dietitians plan and implement nutrition interventions that meet patient needs and establishes a plan for positive change. Another aspect of MNT is patient counseling on behavioral and lifestyle changes that are required to positively affect long-term eating habits and health.
The drive towards not only eating healthy but also ensuring appropriate nutrient intake is becoming more common in developed economies, where the presence of a huge variety of foods distracts a person from receiving a balanced diet. A majority of such foods are also pre-processed and non-organic, explaining the rise in demand for organic foods from retail outlets in the United States. In January 2018, a bipartisan “Food is Medicine” working group was formed in the American government, dedicated to innovations in nutrition policy to improve health and reduce diet-related health costs. MNT therapy is one such approach that has been proven to work to an extent and can help one to live better at any age.
However, the high cost associated with the therapy hinders public acceptance and adherence. MNT is part of a larger medical nutrition market, which includes segments such as intravenous nutrition and tube feeding. An ongoing report by Allied Market Research is set to provide a comprehensive analysis of the current state of the global medical nutrition market, identifying the market drivers & restrains. The report would also contain in-depth knowledge of various market segments while specifying future investment pockets for emerging market players.
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