Dietary and Nutritional Assessment
Central to any study, or action, in nutrition is the concept of nutritional status. This has been dened as the capacity to perform the range of functions required in health and the metabolic competence to respond to stresses (‘the biological condition of an individual in respect of parameters dependent to a greater or lesser extent on diet, whether or not other factors are involved’). Measurement of nutritional status includes the measurement of anthropometric, biochemical and clinical indicators and the nutritional status of an individual therefore incorporates an understanding of
• The past: Genetic endowment dening potential and needs • Dietary exposure • Other past inuences in food/nutrient utilization, for example illness
• The present: Current form and behaviour, including habitual diet • The future: Capacity for growth, activity recovery and resistance to infection reproduction
There are three interacting but distinct components of nutritional status: what we eat, what we are and what we can do. To be able to assess nutritional status, all three must be evaluated, using different methods and dietary intake assessment is just one method of gleaning information about an individual’s nutritional status.