What is the purpose of the nutrition assessment?

Nutritional assessment allows healthcare providers to systematically assess patients' overall nutritional status, diagnose malnutrition, identify underlying pathologies that lead to malnutrition, and plan necessary interventions. For example, a person who has problems with their eating habits may be referred to counseling, or a person who has difficulty accessing it may be referred to a social worker, food bank, or other support service to prevent malnutrition. Substance use disorders can often lead to malnutrition, metabolic disorders, and changes in body composition. The goal of nutritional screening is to quickly identify patients who have a high nutritional risk or poor nutritional status upon admission to the hospital.

In addition to the impact on morbidity and mortality, disease-related malnutrition also has an economic impact. Substance abuse can affect nutritional status and body composition by causing inadequate nutrient intake and absorption and changes in metabolism. Electrolytes (such as serum calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine can be evaluated to determine the general state of the patient's fluid volume and the parents' need for nutrition. However, only recently have some studies demonstrated that there is a relationship between poor nutritional status and prolonged hospital stay, decreased quality of life, and increased morbidity and mortality.

Nutrition surveys: cross-sectional evaluations of selected population groups; they are carried out to generate reference nutritional data, to know the general nutritional status, and to identify subgroups at nutritional risk. Despite the weaknesses of the cutoff points, these criteria are commonly used and are often necessary to assess dietary intake and nutritional status parameters. Nutritional assessment is used to identify undernourished people and nutritional interventions are used for at-risk population subgroups (Gibson, 200). Nutritional assessment is the systematic process of collecting and interpreting information to make decisions about the nature and cause of nutrition-related health problems affecting a person (British Dietetic Association (BDA), 201. The first applications of nutritional assessment were made in researching the health and production problems of livestock related to food and, later, in the examinations of human populations in developing countries.

Maintaining or improving the nutritional status of patients admitted to the hospital is likely to improve clinical outcomes and help contain health care costs. Correct interpretation of nutritional assessment results often requires consideration of other factors, such as socioeconomic status, cultural practices, and vital and health statistics (ecological factors).