Food as Medicine: Retail Nutrition Framework

Food as Medicine: Retail Nutrition Framework

July 14, 2021
Retail Industry Insights

By Allison Yoder, MA, RDN, LD, Nutrition in Food Retail Program Development Fellow, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation

As registered dietitians, we see first-hand that consumers are prioritizing health and well-being. More than ever before, they are connecting food with health and well-being, and in turn the concept of Food as Medicine is growing in momentum with consumers. Food as Medicine programs recognize the significant influence of a healthy eating pattern on overall health, while considering an individual’s ability to access nutritious foods and beverages.

As an expert voice in the science of food and nutrition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy) has recognized the importance of entering the conversation around Food as Medicine. Registered dietitians are natural leaders of Food as Medicine initiatives, serving as trusted allies with consumers through practical solutions that are grounded in science and credible research. To support registered dietitians working in food retail settings, the Academy Foundation has developed a Food as Medicine website containing supporting resources for building Food as Medicine programs:

Food as Medicine Retail Nutrition Framework

The Food as Medicine Retail Nutrition Landscape white paper is available for free download from the Academy Foundation, and is designed to guide RDNs leading Food as Medicine efforts in food retail settings and expand the impact of food retailers to support health and well-being, disease management and treatment, nutrition security and food safety for their customers, employees and communities.

The white paper serves as a roadmap, including:

  • Background of the concept of Food as Medicine.
  • Program models.
  • Retail Nutrition Framework for program development, including focus areas, target shoppers and recommended program models.
  • Key elements for building successful Food as Medicine programs.
  • Case examples of current successful Food as Medicine retail models.


This impactful one-minute video, showcases registered dietitians as trusted experts and key partners in a customer’s health and shopping journey, and the leading role registered dietitians play in Food as Medicine initiatives.

Continuing Education

Take advantage of free continuing education opportunities available through the Academy Foundation, and become well-versed in Food as Medicine focus areas: health promotion, disease management, nutrition security and food safety.

Retail dietitians have a tremendous opportunity to not only implement Food as Medicine programs to an attentive and expanding audience, but also to bridge the gap between public health and health care. Through the Food as Medicine Retail Nutrition Framework, and other resources the Academy Foundation has developed, registered dietitians are well positioned to lead services, programs and promotions that result in improved health outcomes as well as positive return-on-investment for food retailers.