Association for Dental Education in Europe

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COP Nutrition

We are pleased to launch ADEEs COP on Nutrition. We are fortunate to have Dr Michael  Crowe (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland) ad Dr Teresa Marshall (College Of Dentistry Iowa, USA).
We are seeking ADEE members with expertise, enthusiasm and commitment to join the steering group of the COP on Development of a nutrition curriculum. Please read the information below and if you have the skillset, engagement and commitment required to be a steering group member we welcome nominations.

The application to join the steering group will be considered by the CoP chairs and the CoP oversight group.

The CoP steering group will have around 4-8 members who will weave different skillsets and backgrounds (ie. Disciplines, regions, and languages) to help the CoP reach its goals. If you have the enthusiasm to join the steering group please provide a short CV and letter of interest outlining your experience and expertise in this area. Please send and cc to

If you would like know more about the initial aims and objectives of the CoP on Development of a nutrition curriculum please contact the CoPs co-chairs: or


A healthy nutritious diet is essential to develop and maintain good oral health while also playing a key role in the primary prevention of many non-communicable diseases (NCDs). A lack of adequate training and confidence to carry out dietary assessment, nutrition analysis and provide appropriate dietary advice have been highlighted as key obstacles for oral healthcare professionals to manage these aspects of patient care.

There is increased awareness of the importance of nutrition training for non-nutritionists and acknowledgement of the fundamental role of nutrition in health and disease. There is also a growing influence of nutrition misinformation and pseudoscience particularly in relation to nutrition health claims and dietary recommendations which requires a multidisciplinary effort to manage. The negative consequences of a diet high in fat, sugar and salt on population health have been well described and include malnutrition, inflammatory diseases and poor oral health. The WHO Global Nutrition Report (2022) states that obesity and diet-related NCDs are increasing while we fail to meet the minimum standards for Sustainable Healthy Diets (SHD). Understanding the importance of sustainability within the practice of dentistry and the wider impact of food production, consumption and waste on greenhouse gas emissions is crucial for current and future generations of oral health care workers. Given the health and dietary impacts presented by climate change a planned nutrition curriculum should incorporate the principles of sustainable healthy eating.

Health-care professionals who also follow dietary guidelines are more is likely to improve their own health and well-being while creating a role model for patients who actively seek guidance. Nutrition is a fundamental component of good oral and general health and a well-designed, evidence-based curriculum needs to reflect this and equip the profession with an appropriate skill-set required for the challenges outlined.

Proposed aim

To develop and promote a nutrition curriculum for oral and general health.

  1. To design a curriculum that provides students with basic knowledge and understanding of nutrition within a framework that incorporates the general principles of a sustainable healthy diet (SHD).
  2. To appraise the current evidence-base for providing core competencies and clinical skills to improve oral health outcomes and understand the importance for overall ealth.
  3. To include interdisciplinary components of dietary assessment and nutrition that enable screening, referral and health promotion.

Michael Crowe

Dublin Dental University Hospital Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Dr Crowe teaches Food Science, Nutrition and Oral Health at undergraduate and postgraduate level and supervises PhD and DChDent research projects. Dr Crowe's research aims to understand interactions between diet and oral health with a view to developing personalised, sustainable, healthy nutrition strategies. A key focus is the application of data science techniques for both the collection and analysis of cohort data at the patient and population group level. Ongoing research includes collecting dietary information and carrying out oral health assessments of specific at-risk subgroups such as elite athletes, chronically ill patients and the elderly. The main aim is to identify the contribution of specific risk factors to poor dental health and poor nutrient status within different subgroups. A secondary aim includes informing recommendations, tools and interventions for optimal oral health that will support dietary behaviour change to sustainable healthy diets. His recent publication on the ‘Implementation of a food science and nutrition module in a dental undergraduate curriculum’ could act as a framework for the development of this proposal.

Riva Touger-Decker

Professor and director
Division of Nutrition, Rutgers School of Dental Medicine

Dr Touger-Decker has been a Professor at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. She developed and implemented the clinical and didactic nutrition curriculum in the school and updates it annually. The curriculum spans the 2nd to the 4th year of the dental school curriculum. It begins with a basic overview of nutrition and diet for systemic health, dietary guidelines for health and disease and approaches to diet education and counseling. The 3rd and 4th years focus on nutrition and diet concepts relative to systemic health and disease and include requirements for nutrition counseling in the clinics. She mentors dental students in nutrition and oral health research and provides interprofessional education to nutrition and dietetics students and professionals and oral health professionals on nutrition and oral health. She is a registered dietitian, internationally recognized for her expertise, scholarship, and leadership in nutrition and oral health and disease and nutrition-focused physical examination. Her research has explored diet/nutrition and head and neck cancer in the acute, mid, and long-term phases of recovery, orofacial pain, tooth loss in older adults, food insecurity among dental students and patients, nutrition-focused physical exam, and hybrid approaches to training health professionals globally. Dr. Touger-Decker was the lead editor of the first and second editions of Nutrition and Oral Medicine and has over 120 peer-reviewed publications. She is also a co-editor of the upcoming 12th edition of Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. Awards include the American Dietetic Association Medallion and Excellence in Dietetic Education Awards and the American Society for Clinical Nutrition Dannon Institute Award for Excellence in Medical/Dental Nutrition Education. She is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, has held elected and appointed positions in multiple professional organizations including IADR, and is a past chair of the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Dr. Touger-Decker has worked with universities in Greece, Malaysia, Israel, Japan, and Tanzania on academic programs and training courses.

Teresa A. Marshall

Professor, Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry
College of Dentistry Iowa

Dr Marshall designed, implemented, and regularly updates the dental student nutrition curriculum at the University of Iowa. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of nutrition and dietary behaviours, the relationships among diet, oral disease and systemic disease, and diet counselling strategies. She also provides oral health education to her dietitian peers to support interdisciplinary health care. She directs the Student Research Program in the College of Dentistry, including mentoring dental students in nutrition-related research. Her primary research objectives are focused on the relationships between diet, oral health, and systemic health including growth and obesity.

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