Mission and Guiding Principles

IPTN's vision is for a healthier society that chooses a personalized 'food first' approach to optimize health and prevent or reverse disease.


Preparing health professionals to safely prescribe Therapeutic Nutrition by:

  • Conducting collaborative, multidisciplinary, practice-focused research

  • Building robust healthcare communities and referral networks to connect us

  • Providing clinical training and certification in Therapeutic Nutrition

  • Supporting practice change with enabling technology, tools and resources


The following principles provide philosophical context for our vision and mission and help to establish a shared foundation for collaboration and teamwork.

The IPTN is a timely initiative, motivated by the following realities:

Metabolic syndrome, including diabetes,
is an enormous problem in our country

In 2015, 3 million Canadians were living with type 2 diabetes, and another 5.1 million were pre-diabetic. By 2020, diabetes related costs in Canada will exceed $16B annually. A recent study from Alberta has forecast that anyone born after 1997 will have a 50% chance of developing type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. For First Nations, the rate is 80%

Navigating nutritional information is increasingly challenging

In recent years, nutritional science has been influenced by dogma, special interests, hype and misinformation. The public needs help discerning the scientific quality of nutritional information, and health professionals are challenged to keep up with new research and practices.

The value of taking a therapeutic, 'food first' approach should not be underestimated

Food and nutrition are the foundation of health and have been used across time and cultures to effectively treat medical conditions. There are many clinical applications for therapeutic nutrition: metabolic disorders, inflammatory conditions, neurodegenerative diseases, psychological conditions, cancer etc. In our society, the value of medication is often overstated by the media and healthcare, and usually does not correct the underlying cause of the problem. Pharmacological therapy is costly to our health care system and may also be a burden to patients. 

Why wait?

There is no time to waste

If more people understood how foundational the link between eating and health was, they wouldn’t wait to be diagnosed with a chronic disease before making a change. Therapeutic nutrition can have an impact on people staying healthy (preventing disease), getting better (recovering from metabolic dysfunction), and living well with illness or disability. Cost-savings from early intervention for those at risk for metabolic dysfunction could be a game-changer for our health care system.

One size does not fit all. A personalized approach is needed

The more we learn about what genetic and metabolic factors determine why some people respond to a certain type of diet and lifestyle intervention while others do not, the more powerful a tool personalized therapeutic nutrition can become. The IPTN and our partners will translate research into educational programs for healthcare professionals to change practice and promote therapeutic nutrition as a fundamental and required aspect of patient care.