The Nutrition Care Process
Overview of Nutrition Assessment
Nutrition Assessment Across
the Life Span
Concepts to Remember
▪ What is the role of nutrition assessment in the nutrition care process?
Nutrition assessment initiates the nutrition care process, an organized series of activities that identifies nutrition risk and implements a plan of intervention. The nutrition care process includes analysis of nutrition risk, development of a care plan, implementation of that plan, and evaluation of the effectiveness of the intervention (Fig. 2-1; American Dietetic Association, 1994). Documentation of assessment, care, and evaluation occurs at each stage of the process.
▪ Describe commonly used assessment techniques and the body compartments they estimate.
▪ Which assessment tools are important in identifying nutrition risk?
▪ Which assessment techniques are useful in documenting nutrition deficiency?
▪ How does nutrition screening differ from nutrition assessment?
Nutrition assessment is a process or series of measurements that define nutrition status. It is designed to identify individuals who, without change or intervention, will develop malnutrition. Malnutrition can refer to undernutrition (such as underweight, poor prolein status, or a vitamin deficiency) or overnutrition (such as obesity, hyperlipidemia, or vitamin toxicity). Nutrition screening uses some simple assessment techniques to identify characteristies known to be associated with nutrition problems and clients who may benefit from assessment and intervention. It may be completed in many settings by a member of the healthcare team: dietitian, dietetic technician, nurse, physician, or other healthcare professional.