International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI)

A global initiative to improve the lives of 590 million people worldwide living with dysphagia.

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.