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Dietary history and recommended dietary intake in children

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 identify and prevent nutritional disorders such as malnutrition and overweight, as well as the increased morbidity and mortality that accompany them. To meet this goal, pediatric clinicians must know the normal and abnormal patterns of growth and the changes in body composition that occur during childhood and adolescence, and must understand the risk factors for overweight and malnutrition. In addition, they must be able to accurately perform and interpret the results of the nutritional evaluation.

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

Dietary history, with comparison to recommended intakes

Medical and medication history

Physical examination

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Literature review current through: Dec 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 02, 2016.
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