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Indications for nutritional assessment in childhood

Sarah M Phillips, MS, RD, LD
Craig Jensen, MD
Section Editor
Kathleen J Motil, MD, PhD
Deputy Editor
Alison G Hoppin, MD


The goal of nutritional assessment in childhood is to prevent nutritional disorders and the increased morbidity and mortality that accompany them. To meet this goal, pediatric clinicians must know the risk factors for obesity and protein energy malnutrition and must understand the normal and abnormal patterns of growth and the changes in body composition during childhood and adolescence. In addition, they must be able to accurately perform and interpret the results of the nutritional evaluation [1].

Nutritional assessment is the quantitative evaluation of nutritional status. A comprehensive nutritional assessment has five components:

Dietary, medical, and medication history

Physical examination

Growth, anthropometric, and body composition measurements

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Literature review current through: Sep 2017. | This topic last updated: Jun 29, 2016.
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