Our Family Nutrition Assessment, which involves an evaluation of objective and subjective data, are used to determine a family’s nutritional status or growth patterns. Our dietitians apply the collected data from the nutrition assessment to plan a nutritional intervention, which involves helping a family maintain or reach a desired health status. Assessing a family’s nutritional status involves anthropometrics, biochemical data, clinical data, and dietary data, which are discussed in detail below.
Anthropometrics are objective measurements that help determine the amount of muscle and percentage of body fat. These measurements can be used to assess weight loss or gain in an individual or to compare two separate individuals. They can also be used to compare growth rates in children. Anthropometrics may include height, weight, body mass index, skinfold measurements, and body frame size. During a nutrition assessment, a dietitian takes anthropometric measurements and then compares them to standard values to make an educated assessment about growth or weight.
Dietitians can assess nutritional status through laboratory testing or biochemical data. Biochemical data may be obtained through blood, urine, stool, hair and nail samples. Hydration level, underlying medical conditions, and metabolic processes, like extreme stress, can affect the outcome of biochemical data, so it is important to consider laboratory results as part of a whole.
Clinical data means obtaining a medical history, which includes any diseases or illness, prior diagnostic procedures or current treatments and medications. Some diseases or treatment procedures may increase specific nutrient needs or contribute to malabsorption, which increases the risk of developing a nutritional deficiency. It is also important to determine whether your family is taking any vitamins, minerals or herbal supplements, which can affect nutritional health.
The dietary data component of the nutrition assessment involves documenting a family’s dietary intake. The dietary data component may also involve a food frequency questionnaire, which is a survey used to obtain information about how often a specific food or a specific food group is consumed. During the dietary component of the nutrition assessment, the dietitian will also obtain information about any known allergies, food intolerances, and food avoidances.