Lesson 2 : Assessment of Nutritional Status- Nutritional anthropometry


Body weight is mainly made up of muscle, fat, bone and internal organs. The evaluation of the significance of weight measurements must take in to account length, frame size, proportions of fat, muscle, bone and the presence of pathological weight, for example edema or spingomegaly. Accordingly weight measurements should be combined with other appropriate measurements and with clinical examination.


  • Sensitive indicator of current nutritional status.
  • Deficit in weight indicate short term under nutrition.
  • PEM is best indentified by weight.
  • Equipment: Equipment used should be sturdy, inexpensive, easily transportable and accurate. They must be checked frequently through the complete range weights envisaged at least twice daily during survey by the use of objects of known weight supplied for this purpose.

Technique of measurement:

  • Young children: Young children should be weighed nude on spring balance.
  • School Children and adults: The platform beam balance is most usually employed. Weighing should not be done after a full meal. Theoretically, the bladder should be emptied prior to measurements.
    • The subjects should stand on the centre of the platform without touching anything. Shoes should be removed and the minimum clothing should be worn. For adults, especially in field circumstances, weighing usually has to be carried out, while they are wearing ordinary clothing.
    • Weighing should not be done after a full meal.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 29 November 2011, 9:25 AM