Nutritional assessment is a systematic evaluation of the data relating to a person’s nutrition and food intake, lifestyle, and previous medical records. This collected data is then used to analyze and determine the nutritional status of an individual. This assessed data is then utilized for formulating a care plan intended to maintain or improve the overall nutritional status.

Nutritional assessment plays a pivotal role in maintaining a perfectly healthy body that is the key to preventing any major diseases both lifestyle and communicable. The importance of nutrition assessment lies in the fact that malnutrition accounts for most of the diseases and conditions among both children and adults.

Nowadays, nutritional assessment is offered by most low income health clinics and includes using computers in accurately performing an analysis of food intake, clinical nutrition body composition assessment, blood tests, anthropometric, nutrigenomics, and medication reviews. Below are some of the key data gathering methods used by our health clinics for nutritional assessment.


Anthropometrics undertakes measurements of the muscle and fat in the body. It is utilized for comparing the nutritional status of individuals, growth comparisons in children, and assessment of weight loss or gain among individuals. The other key anthropometrics measurements taken for nutritional assessment are the weight and height of individuals as well as skinfold measurement of the various parts of the body.

Dietary Data

Dietary data is another key aspect of nutritional assessment that is offered by our low income health clinics. It involves carrying out a nutrition interview, in which, the medical practitioner asks specific questions to the individual about their food habits. It also includes collecting data about the lifestyle adopted by the individual and other prevalent medical issues.

Clinical Data

Clinical data gives accurate information related to the medical records such as the incidence of any chronic or acute illness as well as the various treatments and therapies that could lead to nutrition variance. It usually involves documentation of the prescribed drugs or other medications taken by an individual.

Carrying out a proper nutritional assessment involves identifying the dietary habits and food preferences of individuals in order to provide an accurate diagnosis. In children, lack of physical activity and reduced intake of foods containing vital nutrients is the major reason for many of their nutrient deficiencies. Proper nutrition reinforces the defense mechanisms of the body that effectively prevents any disease-causing agents such as bacteria or virus that affect normal bodily functions.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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