Why Nutrition Matters

Nutrition is critically important to the human body in terms of growth and development, overall health and wellness throughout life, and the function of organs and body systems. It also plays a role in disease management and supports overall quality of life. Malnutrition, or lack of proper nutrition, is associated with billions of dollars per year in medical expenses. ¹

As there is no universally accepted definition of “malnutrition,” and since malnutrition can have different meanings in different contexts, the Healthcare Nutrition Council (HNC) has adopted a definition of malnutrition. Please see HNC’s expanded definition of malnutrition to learn more.

Patient Access

All patients have the right to receive high quality care, and that includes nutrition support products as part of their care. At times, access to nutrition support products — such as medical foods — can be a significant challenge for patients. As a result, HNC raises awareness and works with key stakeholders to help overcome obstacles to patient access. We continue to work towards systematic changes that will foster innovation and utilize new science and discoveries, ultimately leading to higher quality healthcare, better patient outcomes, and improvements in overall patient health and nutrition.

Who We Are

HNC is an association representing manufacturers of enteral nutrition (EN) formulas and oral nutrition supplements (ONS), including those categorized as medical foods, and parenteral nutrition (PN). HNC’s mission is to improve patient outcomes by advancing nutrition policies and actions that raise awareness and optimize access of essential nutrition support therapies across the continuum of care.

  1. Goates, Scott; Kristy Du, Carol Braunschweig, and Mary Beth Arensberg. Economic Burden of Disease-Associated malnutrition at the State Level. PLOS ONE. 2016; 11(9): 1-15.