IDDSI and the Thick-It® Brand: Setting a Higher Standard for Dysphagia Nutrition

If you, a loved one, or a patient has dysphagia, you’re well aware of the importance of modifying the texture of foods and liquids for their health and safety. You’re also aware of just how complicated it can be to create, prepare, and serve satisfying and nutritious texture-modified foods and beverages.

That’s why, in 2013, an international team of physicians, scientists, speech-language pathologists, and caregivers gathered to develop a universal language, testing methods, and care guidelines to better serve the needs of the 590 million people worldwide living with swallowing disorders. They called it the International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative, or IDDSI.

So, what changed?
While previously used terms like honey, nectar, and pudding are appetizing, they can mean different things in different cultures. In 2015, IDDSI introduced a new framework to provide clear guidelines for texture-modified beverages and foods that are consistent across all countries and cuisines. The framework categorizes the diet into 8 distinct levels, from 0 for thin liquids to 7 for regular foods. Each level is identified by a distinct number, color, and simple descriptive language like mildly thick or moderately thick.

A Legacy of Care & Support
From our beginning in 1987, the Thick-It® brand has supported this essential work. Raising the standard of dysphagia nutrition and care has been our sole focus and mission. When the IDDSI program launched, we didn’t hesitate to sign on as a gold sponsor. We partnered with renowned Registered Dieticians and Speech-Language Pathologists to help us expand our Education Center with even more free, educational infographics, articles, recipes, and videos for people with dysphagia and their loved ones as well as healthcare professionals and facility managers. And, we updated our packaging based on the IDDSI framework.

The result of years of research and testing, the IDDSI framework is the gold standard for dysphagia nutrition. As a gold-level sponsor, the Thick-It® brand is proud to be a part of this voluntary effort to improve care worldwide for people with swallowing disorders.

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