Assuring Pediatric Nutrition in the Community
Table of Contents
PARAMETERS AND GROWTH
Assessment of a child’s nutritional status includes evaluation of several sets of indicators:
Anthropometric indicators (e.g., weight, stature, and skinfold measurements) provide information about a child's physical growth. Measurements can be compared to growth charts to help determine nutritional risk, and over time, they provide information about a child’s long term nutritional status.
Dietary information in a nutritional assessment can be affected by a variety of factors, including physical, environmental and social influences. Nutrient intake, developmental appropriateness of foods offered, and social and environmental influences are evaluated in this portion of the assessment. Behaviors around food and eating should be examined as well.
Biochemical indicators (laboratory values) can provide information about a child’s macro- and micronutrient stores; e.g., a low serum albumin might reveal a risk for protein deficiency. Hemoglobin and hematocrit values can provide information about iron status. Cut-off levels vary for specific institutions. The use of norms for adults is not necessarily appropriate in pediatric populations. Medical conditions, including fluid imbalances, and drug-nutrient interactions must be taken into consideration when interpreting lab values.
Clinical indicators are physical signs of nutritional status; e.g., fatigue, dry or scaly skin, and lackluster hair.
|This page was last updated 02/16/2001|
|Copyright 2001, University of Washington, CHDD|