Clinical Examination to Assess Nutritional Status

Start your assessment by asking questions about appetite and intake. Assessing taste changes, dentition, dysphagia, feeding independence, and vitamin/mineral supplements can be very helpful. Enquire about eating patterns. These can include daily and weekend intake, diet restrictions, ethnicity, eating away from home, and fad diets. Obtain diet intake from 24-hour recall and food- frequency questionnaire. Food diary can help where recall is an issue. This helps in identifying the physical signs of malnutrition. Keep in mind that signs do not appear unless severe deficiencies exist.

Examine patients for temporal wasting, cheilosis (usual appearance is a roughly triangular area of erythema, edema (swelling), and maceration at either corner of the mouth), loss of subcutaneous fat, and edema. Most of the signs and symptoms described above indicate two or more deficiencies. The SGA scale requires a physical assessment of [1]

  • • Ankle edema
  • • Sacral edema
  • • Ascites

Last name:

First name:



Weight, kg:

Height, cm:


Complete the screen by filling in the boxes with the appropriate numbers. Total the numbers for the final screening score.

Ref. 1 .Vellas B, Villars H. Abelian G. etal. Overview of the MNA - Its History and Challenges. J Nutr Health Aging 2006:10:456-465.2.Rubenstein LZ, Harker JO, Salva A, Guigoz Y. Vellas B. Screening for Undernutrition in Geriatric Practice: Developing the Short-Form Mini 3.Nutritional Assessment (MNA-SF). J. Geront 2001 ;56A: M366- 377.4.Guigoz Y. The Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA') Review of the Literature - What does it tell us? J Nutr Health Aging 200b; 10:466-487.

5.Kaiser MJ. Bauer JM. Ramsch C. el al. Validation of the Mini Nutritional Assessment Short-Form (MNA' -SF): A practical tool for identification of nutritional status. J Nutr Health Aging 2009; 13:782-788. ® Soci6t6 des Produits Nestte. S.A.. Vevey, Switzerland, Trademark Owners © Nestle, 1994, Revision 2009. N67200 12/9910M For more information:



  • [1] Loss of subcutaneous fat (triceps, chest) • Muscle wasting (quadriceps, deltoids)
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