The BDA announces adoption of the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) Framework

The BDA announces adoption of the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) Framework

05 October 2017

Following consultation with stakeholders and an analysis of evidence, the British Dietetic Association (BDA) is announcing its support for the formal adoption of the IDDSI framework in the UK.

The BDA has been working with NHS England and a range of stakeholders (including representatives from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy, nurses, catering organisations and product manufacturers) to explore whether the UK should adopt the IDDSI framework. Also, earlier this year, the BDA surveyed the profession regarding the acceptability of IDDSI.

We recognise that implementation of the IDDSI framework will be a challenge so work is ongoing to communicate this decision and develop a toolkit to assist the implementation of the IDDSI framework. Please watch this space for further announcements.

IDDSI have published international standardised terminology and definitions for texture modified foods and thickened liquids for people with dysphagia.  The framework consists of a continuum of eight levels (0-7) and includes descriptors, testing methods and evidence for both liquid thickness and food texture levels. 

The framework aims to:

  • improve patient safety (e.g. when patients, carers and /or healthcare professionals travel from one country to the next there will be a common international terminology which should mean that patients continue to receive the correct textures and hence remain safe; product labels will also be international)
  • to provide greater opportunities to collect and evaluate treatment outcomes (due to international standardised terminologies larger cohorts of patients can be used to research and evaluate the effects of existing and new treatments)
  • to combine, within one framework or continuum, the descriptors for both texture modified food and fluids – the latter are not currently addressed by the UK descriptors

  • If you have any feedback on the IDDSI framework or would like to receive updates, please contact Joanna Instone, Head of External Affairs, BDA at

  • More information can be found on the IDDSI website at 

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