The principle aim of the nutritional assessment of a community is to map out the magnitude and geographical distribution of malnutrition as a public health problem to discover and analyze the ecological factors that are directly or indirectly responsible and where possible to suggest appropriate corrective measures. The nutritional assessment of a community should aim at discovering facts and guiding action intended to improve nutrition and health.
Malnutrition influences morbidity rates for various diseases mortality rates, life expectancy and other health statistics. A variety of statistics may therefore be considered as indirect indicator of the nutritional status of the community.
Vital statistics include the counts of births, deaths, illness and the various rates and ratios that may be computed from them.