Clinical Nutrition Research and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Scoping Review of the ASPEN COVID-19 Task Force on Nutrition Research

ASPEN COVID-19 Task Force on Nutrition Research

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of this scoping review by the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Nutrition Task Force was to examine nutrition research applicable to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid pace of emerging scientific information has prompted this activity to discover research/knowledge gaps. This methodology adhered with recommendations from the Joanna Briggs Institute. There were 2301 citations imported. Of these, there were 439 articles fully abstracted, with 23 main topic areas identified across 24 article types and sourced across 61 countries and 51 specialties in 8 settings and among 14 populations. Epidemiological/mechanistic relationships between nutrition and COVID-19 were reviewed and results mapped to the Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcome, and Time (PICO-T) questions. The aggregated data were analyzed by clinical stage: pre–COVID-19, acute COVID-19, and chronic/post–COVID-19. Research gaps were discovered for all PICO-T questions. Nutrition topics meriting urgent research included food insecurity/societal infrastructure and transcultural factors (pre–COVID-19); cardiometabolic-based chronic disease, pediatrics, nutrition support, and hospital infrastructure (acute COVID-19); registered dietitian nutritionist counseling (chronic/post–COVID-19); and malnutrition and management (all stages). The paucity of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was particularly glaring. Knowledge gaps were discovered for PICO-T questions on pediatrics, micronutrients, bariatric surgery, and transcultural factors (pre–COVID-19); enteral nutrition, protein-energy requirements, and glycemic control with nutrition (acute COVID-19); and home enteral and parenteral nutrition support (chronic/post–COVID-19). In conclusion, multiple critical areas for urgent nutrition research were identified, particularly using RCT design, to improve nutrition care for patients before, during, and after COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-31
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • cardiometabolic risk
  • coronavirus disease 2019
  • diabetes
  • enteral nutrition
  • knowledge gap
  • knowledge translation
  • metabolic syndrome
  • nutrition
  • nutrition research
  • nutrition support therapy
  • obesity
  • parenteral nutrition
  • research gap
  • scoping review
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2
  • social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical Nutrition Research and the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Scoping Review of the ASPEN COVID-19 Task Force on Nutrition Research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this