Optimizing Cognitive Function with Foods, Nutrients, and Dietary Patterns: The Science and the Translation

Recorded August 8, 2023

IAFNS is a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) provider with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). CDR Credentialed Practitioners will receive 1.0 Continuing Professional Education Unit (CPEUs) for completion of this recorded webinar until August 7, 2026.


COVID-19 and the associated societal and lifestyle disruptions have highlighted interest in how nutrition can support cognitive health. The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) addressed several questions related to neurocognition, but was faced with “considerable variation in testing methods, inconsistent validity and reliability of cognitive testing methods, and differences between dietary patterns and cognitive outcomes examined,” precluding the ability to develop dietary recommendations. At the same time, several recent studies are providing new insights into nutrients and dietary patterns that may impact cognition. In this session, the complexities of nutrition and cognition research will first be reviewed, to include the various options for, strengths, and limitations of cognitive performance measures. New data capturing how individuals describe the benefits they are seeking from foods and nutrients, and alignment (or misalignment) of these terms with what research can demonstrate will be presented. Second, the Nutrition for Dementia Working Group will review their recent recommendations for advancing our understanding of dietary patterns that can support dementia prevention. Finally, practical guidance for optimizing cognitive health with nutrition will be provided, considering the current evidence and common consumer expectations for benefits, while aligning with the DGA and considering food accessibility and cultural needs.

Webinar Speakers:

Bramaramba Kowtha, MS RDN, NIH/Office of Disease Prevention – Moderator

Hayley Young, PhD, Swansea University

Hussein Yassine, MD, USC

Suzanne Summer, PhD RD, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Commission on Dietetic Registration Performance Indicators:

  • 4.1.2 Interprets and integrates evidence-based research and literature in decision-making.
  • 6.2.3 Analyzes and interprets data to form valid conclusions and to make recommendations.
  • 8.1.1 Interprets and applies evidence-based literature and standards for determining nutritional needs of target audiences.