A dietary assessment, also called a nutritional assessment, is an in-depth evaluation of an individual’s food and nutrient intakes, lifestyle, medical history, and family history. The information for the assessment includes the followings:
- Height and Weight
- Body compositions, including percentage of fat and muscle
- Frame size
- Family and medical history
- Relevant blood and urine tests
- Dietary data, including meal patterns and eating habits
- Lifestyle data, including physical activity level, and social life information
The Dietitian assimilates the information collected into an assessment that provides an understanding of the individual’s nutritional status, to determine the individual’s ideal/desirable body weight/body composition, and the individual’s nutrient/calorie requirements.
A Dietary Assessment leads to a Care Plan, which is a nutritional intervention plan including dietary strategies and exercise recommendations to help the individual attain a desired/healthier status. Dietary strategies can be defined as:
- Recommended changes to existing eating habits;
- Therapeutic nutrition prescriptions, such as specific dietary supplements;
- Meal plans.