Strategies for optimizing nutrition and weight reduction in physical therapy practice: the evidence

Physiother Theory Pract. 2009 Jul;25(5-6):408-23. doi: 10.1080/09593980902835369.


Poor nutrition and obesity can directly lead to pathological conditions managed by physical therapists or negatively influence recovery from movement dysfunction. The physical therapist/client relationship provides an opportunity for screening for poor nutrition as well as recommending and supporting better nutrition practices by the clients under their care. As such, it is important for the physical therapy professional to understand optimal nutrition for healthy living and serve as a consultant for better nutrition for their clients. To achieve this end, this article addresses strategies for identifying nutritional trends for the specific groups of clients, screening for nutritional problems, assessing clients' readiness to change eating habits, providing useful information and resources concerning optimal nutrition, and recognizing the need for referral to nutrition professionals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Counseling
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Malnutrition / diet therapy
  • Malnutrition / etiology
  • Malnutrition / physiopathology
  • Nutrition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Nutrition Disorders / diet therapy*
  • Nutrition Disorders / etiology
  • Nutrition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Overweight / diet therapy
  • Overweight / etiology
  • Overweight / physiopathology
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Physical Therapy Specialty
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss*