Malnutrition was first highlighted as a prevalent concern in hospital care more than 30 years ago. In response the nutrition support field grew precipitously but changes in the healthcare environment have culminated in a period of accountability and consolidation in nutrition support practice over the past decade. Evolving regulatory environment and reimbursement policies have had a profound impact upon nutrition support and these trends are likely to continue. Both undernutrition and overnutrition (obesity) remain prevalent concerns in North America. In particular the growing prevalence of overweight/obesity will have far-reaching implications for nutrition support practitioners and will require the development, testing, and validation of new standards of assessment, intervention, and monitoring. Adoption of common language and definitions by practitioners will facilitate standardized interventions, outcome measures, and high quality research. The future remains bright with tailored nutrition interventions poised to become a part of the individual medical treatment plan for specific patient conditions and genotypes. Future research priorities should include studies of nutritional modulation of inflammatory conditions with specific nutrients and functional foods and the testing of individualized nutritional interventions tailored to gene polymorphisms.