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ACCESSING OF NUTRITIONAL STATUS

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INTRODUCTION

Nutritional status is the balance between the intake of nutrients by an organism and the expenditure of these in the process of growth, reproduction, and health maintenance (Kruuse, 2007). Nutritional status can be measured for individual as well as for population. Accurate measurement of individual nutritional status is required in clinical practice. The choice of nutritional status assessment method must be made mindful of the level at which one wants information as well as of the validity and reliability of the method. All method have error (Kruuse, 2007). All method produces imperfect measures that are indirect approximations, of the process. Whatever method is chosen for assessment of nutritional status the data obtained must be compared with reference data to produce an indicator of nutritional status. The quality of the available reference data is therefore another factor that affects the assessment data. Ideal method are sensitive and specific. It is difficult to achieve both in the ability of a technique to correctly identify those affected by condition. Specificity refers to the ability of a technique to correctly classify normal individual as having normal nutritional status. Body mass index  is a global measure of nutritional status. Most persons who consume insufficient energy have low body mass index, so the measure is sensitive. However, there are other causes of low body mass index, including genetics and disease, so body mass index is not specific to nutritional status. The assessment of nutritional status is commonly summarized by the mnemonics “ABCD” which stands for anthropometric measurement, biochemical or Laboratory test. Clinical indicators and dietary assessment (Wilson, 2005).


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