Nutritional Anthropometry

Lesson 2 : Assessment of Nutritional Status- Nutritional anthropometry

Nutritional Anthropometry

Definition: Nutritional Anthropometry is concerned with the measurement of the variations of the physical dimensions and the gross composition of the human body at different age levels and degrees of nutrition (Jelliffee, 1966).

The pattern of growth and the physical state of the body are profoundly influenced by diet and nutrition. Hence, anthropometric measurements are useful criteria for assessing nutritional status.

Physical dimensions of the body are influenced by

  1. Biological factors: (Sex, intrauterine, environment, birth orders, birth weight, parental size etc).
  2. Genetic factors
  3. Environmental factors (season, climate, socio-economic level, nutrition exposure to infection) and
  4. Physiological factors.

Age Assessment: Exact age assessment is desirable in the anthropometry of young children. Age can be determined based on

  1. Documentary evidence presented by the parents (e.g. Birth or baptism certificates or horoscopes).
  2. Child’s dental eruption and other milestones of development (e.g. Eruption of permanent teeth at the age of 6-7 years).
  3. by developing local event calendar-construction of local calendar based on events in the preceding years, including agricultural, climatic and political occurrences, as well as natural or manmade disasters.
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