ADA publishes practice guidelines for nutrition care for patients with spinal cord injury

CHICAGO — The American Dietetic Association has published new evidence-based nutrition practice guidelines for registered dietitians on nutrition care for patients with spinal cord injury.

The guidelines contain systematically developed recommendations to assist practitioners in appropriate nutrition care, with specific recommendations on:

  • Energy needs in the acute phase
  • Nutrition assessment for prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity
  • Nutrition assessment of lipid abnormalities
  • Cranberry extract supplements
  • Nutrition intervention to prevent development of pressure ulcers.

ADA members, including an expert workgroup and trained analysts, extensively examined the research to develop a series of recommendations and treatment algorithms which accurately summarize this body of evidence. The intent of ADA’s guidelines is to support the integration of evidence-based dietetics practice and improve the quality of care.

ADA has previously published evidence-based nutrition practice guidelines on adult weight management; celiac disease; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; critical illness; diabetes type 1 and 2; disorders of lipid metabolism; gestational diabetes mellitus; heart failure; hypertension; oncology; and pediatric weight management.

The guidelines contain systematically developed recommendations, based on scientific evidence, and are designed to assist practitioners on the appropriate nutrition care for patients.

All of ADA’s evidence-based guidelines are available online in the Association’s Evidence Analysis Library,, which analyzes and summarizes results of the best available research and offers recommendations for RDs in treating clients and patients.

Recommendations in ADA’s guidelines, as well as grades assigned to the strength of the scientific evidence used in supporting the recommendations, should not be interpreted as endorsements by the American Dietetic Association of any brand-name product or service. Consumers who want to know more about nutrition and health are encouraged to consult with a registered dietitian in their area.

For details on republishing information contained in ADA’s guidelines, visit

The Spinal Cord Injury Nutrition Evidence Analysis Project was funded by the ADA Foundation through the generous support of Herbert and Nylda Gemple and the Paralyzed Veterans of American (PVA) Education Fund. Funding was also provided by the Dietitians in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Dietetic Practice Group (now part of Medical Nutrition Practice Group).

The American Dietetic Association is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the American Dietetic Association at

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