International Initiative Standardizes Modified Foods, Thickened Liquids What’s the difference between mildly thick and moderately thick liquids? Or between soft and minced foods? Clinicians recommending diet modifications for people with dysphagia—who have long struggled with imprecise terminology—have a new resource that establishes international, standardized terms and definitions for texture-modified foods and thickened liquids. The International Dysphagia Diet ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   January 01, 2016
International Initiative Standardizes Modified Foods, Thickened Liquids
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Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   January 01, 2016
International Initiative Standardizes Modified Foods, Thickened Liquids
The ASHA Leader, January 2016, Vol. 21, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB3.21012016.12
The ASHA Leader, January 2016, Vol. 21, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB3.21012016.12
What’s the difference between mildly thick and moderately thick liquids? Or between soft and minced foods?
Clinicians recommending diet modifications for people with dysphagia—who have long struggled with imprecise terminology—have a new resource that establishes international, standardized terms and definitions for texture-modified foods and thickened liquids.
The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative establishes a framework of eight levels, ranging from thin liquids (Level 0) to regular foods (Level 7). Freely available online, the framework is presented in 16 languages.
The goal of the three-year initiative is to clear up confusion created by the many different names used throughout the world to describe texture-modified foods and thickened liquids.
According to the initiative’s website, “[In] one country, it is not uncommon to find up to 40 names being used to describe just four different levels of fluid thickness.”
The variety of names can affect patient safety, as clinicians may be unsure the patient is receiving the correct food texture or drink thickness. Potential serious consequences include chest infection or choking and dying.
The framework includes characteristics and examples of food or liquid at each level, testing methods, and photos and videos of the testing methods.
The initiative represents an international collaboration of professional organizations and manufacturers of dysphagia diet products. ASHA supported the effort by fielding a survey to help with the standardization through Special Interest Group 13, Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia).
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January 2016
Volume 21, Issue 1