Nutritional Assessment

Nutritional assessment is the study and observation of data related to dietary, anthropometric, and clinical studies. A lot of interpretation is drawn from the laboratory data relating to diet, nutrition, and the measurements and proportions of the human body, and that is called nutritional assessment.

How and Why is Nutritional assessment done?

Nutritional assessment is done in order to determine and place the nutritional status of certain population groups or even individual humans. This is generally dependent upon the intake of nutrients and how certain groups of individuals or large population groups consume and utilize nutrients. The nutritional status is an indicator and a tool that represents the nutritive and protective substance needed by a certain population group. It is also a reflection of the physical, biochemical, functional, health, and physiological characteristics of a certain population group. 

Three general purposes of nutritional assessment are:

In medicine, there is a basic need to understand, identify, interpret and describe the health and physical conditions and status of an individual, group of individuals or a population group, or even a country. These have led to the creation and development of methods to assess nutritional status. Ever since the correlation between nutrition and health has been determined, this sentiment has only grown in medicine.

The nutritional assessment used to be limited to the assessment of livestock health and the nutritional quality of livestock and their health and production issues. Later developing countries started applying this to their citizens in order to have healthier and stronger populations. 

Public nutritional intervention programs introduced by governments have become increasingly common to determine the health status of their citizens. Good nutrition and health have been considered fundamental rights in almost all democratic countries. 

What are the systems of nutritional assessment?

There are mainly three types of nutritional assessment systems. These have been used both for studies of large population groups as well as tiny, carefully monitored healthcare subjects/patients.

  •     Nutritional Surveys:  A variety of tests and evaluations are done across cross-sections of large populations to determine the subgroups and tiny subsets which are at health risk.
  •     Nutritional Surveillance: Selected population groups who are at a potential health risk are continuously put under evaluation and monitored for an extended period of time to identify and catch cases of malnutrition or prevent other pandemics. 
  •     Nutritional screening: Individual parameters are compared with the laboratory or standard nutritional values which have been predetermined. This is used to identify individuals in need of immediate medical attention in regard to malnourishment.

In conclusion, developing and developed countries have been doing these nutritional status surveys for years, and this has been shown to eradicate many widespread diseases. For example, India got rid of polio entirely thanks to nutritional assessments.

We hope to have provided you with some valuable information that you might have needed about nutritional assessment.  

Dr Suneel Kumar is a leading pediatrician and newborn specialist working in Greater Noida. He is an experienced and council certified Pediatrician providing one – to – one care to children of all ages right from – newborn, infants, toddlers, young children upto adolescence.

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