H/A: Benefits and Risks/Harms of Implementation (2010)

Benefits and Risks or Harms of Implementing the Recommendations

Safety issues must be reviewed carefully for each individual. General benefits and risks associated with implementation of the guideline are addressed for each recommendation.

Potential Benefits

A primary goal of implementing these recommendations includes improving a person's ability to achieve optimal nutrition through healthful food choices and physically active lifestyle.


Although costs of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) sessions and reimbursement vary, MNT is essential for improved outcomes. MNT education can be considered cost effective when considering the benefits of nutrition interventions on the onset and progression of comorbidities versus the cost of the intervention.

Risk or Harm Considerations

When using these recommendations:
  • Review the patient’s age, socioeconomic status, cultural issues, health history, and other health conditions.
  • Consider referral to a behavioral specialist if psychosocial issues are a concern.
  • Consider a referral to social services to assist patients with financial arrangements if economic issues are a concern.
  • Use clinical judgment in applying the guidelines when evaluating individuals with HIV/AIDS. 

In addition to the above, a variety of barriers may hinder the application of these recommendations.