IDDSI: What RDNs Need to Know

Welcome to a new series on the International Dysphasia Diet Standardization Initiative (IDDSI), brought to you by your Iowa Academy’s Publications Committee—a group dedicated to researching, creating, and delivering helpful resources to share with members.

In this series, you’ll learn about the importance of IDDSI in American health care facilities; gain insight into what other facilities are doing to implement IDDSI, including the suggested timeline provided by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; and discover valuable resources to assist with implementation schedules, education for staff, and support from colleagues.

However, we need your help.

Action Alert:

Please take a minute to shoot us a quick email. (

We’d love to know:

  • What questions do you have about IDDSI?

  • What challenges are you facing with implementation?

  • What tools would help you implement or educate on IDDSI?

  • What is your preferred learning method? (e.g. workshops, handouts, blogs, etc.)

  • Would you be interested in being a resource or contact for this IDDSI series?

Your feedback will not only help us prepare content for this series, it will also help us update the 13th edition of the Simplified Diet Manual (link to SDM page). We look forward to hearing from you!

Now, to kick off part 1, let’s cover a few basic Q & As.

Q: What Is IDDSI?

A: The International Dysphasia Diet Standardization Initiative known as IDDSI was founded six

years ago in an effort to establish new terminology and definitions for modified foods and

thickened liquids used for individuals with dysphagia. The new framework consists of 8 colored-coded levels, numbered 0 through 7, along with text labels. Check out a visual graphic of the new framework here. (

Q: Why Is IDDSI Important?

A: While many countries and regions use their own standardized terms to discuss modified

textures for dysphasia diets, until now there has yet to be an international standardization. A

modified diet may have a defined name in one hospital, but that same diet may be called

something different in a neighboring rehab facility. This can be confusing—and dangerous—for patients and health care workers. The new IDDSI framework is meant to help everyone use the same terminology and definitions at a global level.

Q: When Is the IDDSI Implementation Date?

A: In 2018, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association announced their support of May 1, 2019, as the official launch date for IDDSI implementation in the United States. That said, the process is expected to take one to years, and both organizations, along with (, are prepared to support facilities and organizations by providing the necessary educational resources.

Thank you!

The Iowa Academy Publications Committee


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