Comprehensive Nutrition Assessment

Comprehensive Nutrition Assessment

A nutrition assessment is an in-depth assessment of information related to an individual's food and nutrient intake, lifestyle, and medical history.

Your doctor or dietitian will assess your information and formulate a nutrition care plan, or intervention, designed to help you either maintain your current status or work towards a healthier status.

The information collected can be classed into four categories: anthropometric, biochemical, clinical, and dietary.

Anthropometry

Anthropometry refer to the measurements of body size and composition. Weight, height and body mass index (BMI) are the most commonly used anthropometric measurements. Waist circumference, waist to hip ratio as well as measurements of body fat and muscle mass have also been used in clinical practice. Anthropometric measurements allow us to analyse and compare populations and reflect both health and nutritional status of an individual.

Biochemical information

These include laboratory tests obtained from blood and urine to gather information. They can be significant pointers of nutritional status, but they are influenced by non-nutritional factors as well. Lab results can be altered by medications, hydration status, and disease states or other metabolic processes, such as stress. As with the other areas of nutrition assessment, biochemical information should be used as part of the entire nutritional assessment, not in isolation.

Clinical information

This is information based on medical history, including illnesses, procedures, therapies, or treatments that may increase nutrient needs or induce malabsorption. The doctor or dietitian should be aware of all medication(s) currently being taken, including both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, supplements, and herbal preparations in order to give an accurate assessment.

Dietary information

Your doctor or dietitian may ask you to complete a food diary to be able to analyze your food intake and meal patterns. When documenting your food, you should include portion sizes and how the food was prepared. Brand names or the restaurant where the food was eaten come in handy for the evaluation as well. The diet history will inform your doctor or dietitian about the quality of your diet and if any changes are needed.

Evaluation

After collecting all the information, your doctor or dietitian will have a better understanding of your nutritional and health status. Based on this assessment they will design and discuss with you dietary and lifestyle goals to optimize your nutrition and health.