Nutrition practice guidelines define a systematic approach for medical nutrition therapy (MNT) provided by dietitians and are derived from scientific evidence and expert opinion. Nutrition practice guidelines for persons with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) can be implemented for those with newly diagnosed or previously diagnosed NIDDM at the first visit to a dietitian for initial or ongoing MNT. The guidelines apply to patients treated with MNT alone, MNT and oral glucose-lowering agents, or MNT and insulin. They provide a framework to assist the dietitian in the assessment, intervention (nutrition prescription, education, goal setting), and evaluation of outcomes for MNT. Minimum referral data for clinical decision making and outcome criteria are defined. Basic nutrition care is defined as one visit with the dietitian. Nutrition practice guidelines care consists of a series of visits with the dietitian. At the second follow-up visit, the dietitian assesses what has been accomplished with the nutrition interventions. If the patient has implemented the nutrition recommendations to the best of his or her ability and has not achieved the treatment goals, the dietitian should notify the physician and recommend that changes in medical management are needed. Ongoing nutrition care is recommended at 6-month to 1-year intervals for both basic and practice guidelines care.