Methods and Importance of Nutritional Status Assessment

Nutritional Status Assessment: Methods and Importance

Definition of Nutritional Assessment:

Nutrition is one of the most essential aspects in life for all. Diet, whether therapeutic or regular, has a major impact on a person’s health, maintenance and recovery from an illness. Nutritional behavior is a lifestyle that is influenced by culture; it must be considered as the nurse provides advice and guidance to individuals and families.

Objective of Nutritional Assessment:

It includes-

Definition of Nutritional Status:

Nutritional status is the assessment of condition of health of an Individual as determined by the nutrients the body receives and utilizes.

Nutritional status assessment
Fig: Nutritional status assessment

Importance of Nutritional Status Assessment:

1. Essential in planning.

2. Provides data and information for evaluation: Evaluation of the effects of changing nutritional, health of economic influence including intervention.

3. Helps to define priorities and responsibilities of public health system at different levels.

  • Identification of individuals or population at risk.
  • Selection of individual or population for an intervention.

Methods of Nutritional Status Assessment:

All the assessment methods of nutritional status includes-

  1. Clinical examination,
  2. Nutritional anthropometry,
  3. Biochemical evaluation,
  4. Functional assessment,
  5. Dietary survey,
  6. Vital and health statistics,
  7. Ecological studies.

All the above assessment methods of nutritional status have explained in the below:

1. Clinical Examination:

A WHO Export Committee classified signs used in nutritional surveys into 3 categories as those:

  • Not related to nutrition: e.g. alopecia, pyorrhoea, pterygium.
  • That needs further investigation: e.g. malar pigmentation, corneal.
  • Known to be of value: e.g, angular stomatitis, bitot’s spots etc.

2. Nutritional Anthropometry:

a. Height & weight:

  • Gomez’ classification (weight for age),
  • Well come classification (weight for age),
  • Waterlow’s classification (weight for Height).

b) Arm circumference,

c) Skin fold thickness.

3. Biochemical evaluation:

  • Laboratory tests: Hb estimation, stool examination, Urine examination.
  • Biochemical tests: Scrum iron. Scrum retinol. Urinary iodine. Scrum folate.

4. Functional Assessment:

Structural integrity. Host defense. Hemostasis, Reproduction, Nerve function. Work capacity.

5. Assessment of dietary intake / Dietary survey:

A diet survey may be carried out by one of the following methods:

  • Weighment of raw foods,
  • Weighment of cooked foods,
  • Oral questionnaire method.

6. Vital & Health statistics:

7. Ecological studies:

  • Food balance sheet e.g. per capita supply,
  • Socio- economic factors e.g. family size,
  • Health and educational services e.g. PHC service,
  • Conditioning influences e.g. viral infection.

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