Nutrition and Growth and Measurement

Tape measure with millimeter markings

image Standing platform scale with height attachment

image Devices for measuring weight and height for infants

image Calculator

image Skinfold caliper


Measure height and weight

imageEstimate desirable body weight (DBW)

Add 10% for large frame; subtract 10% for small frame.

EXPECTED:Women: 100 pounds for first 5 feet, plus 5 pounds for each inch thereafter. Men: 106 pounds for first 5 feet, plus 6 pounds for each inch thereafter.
Use growth charts for pediatric patients available at EXPECTED:Child is following a growth curve pattern for height and weight. Height and weight are approximately same percentiles.
imageCalculate percent weight change


UNEXPECTED:Weight loss that equals or exceeds 1% to 2% in 1 week, 5% in 1 month, 7.5% in 3 months, 10% in 6 months.
imageCalculate body mass index (BMI) kg/m2


EXPECTED:18.5 to 24.9 for men and women.
UNEXPECTED:BMI less than 18.5 is classified as undernutrition. BMI of 25 to 29.9 is classified as overweight. BMI of 30 to 39.9 is obesity. BMI of 40 and higher is extreme obesity.
See nomogram below. Also, see an interactive BMI calculator on the image website.

Nomogram for body mass index (kg/m2). Draw a line from the patient’s height to the patient’s weight. The BMI or weight/height2 is read from the central scale. The ranges suggested as “desirable” are from life insurance data.


From Thomas AE et al, 1976.

Calculate waist-to-hip circumference ratio
Using tape measure with millimeter markings, measure waist at a midpoint between the costal margin and the iliac crest. Then measure hip at the widest part of the gluteal region. Divide waist circumference by hip circumference to obtain the ratio. EXPECTED:Ratio less than 0.9 in men and 0.8 in women.
UNEXPECTED:Ratios of greater than 1.0 in men and greater than 0.85 in women indicate increased central fat distribution and increased risk of disease.
24-hour diet recall  
Food diary Use the MyPyramid guide at to track and analyze individual eating patterns and to generate a dietary plan based on age, gender, and physical activity level.
Calculate estimates for energy needs
Use actual weight for healthy adults. Calories Kcal/kg
Weight loss 25
Use adjusted weight for obese patients. Weight maintenance 30
Weight gain 35
  Hypermetabolic/malnourished 35-50
Estimate fat intake
  25% to 35% of the daily calories consumed should come from fat, with a distribution of less than 7% saturated fat, less than 10% polyunsaturated fat, and the rest in monounsaturated fat (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2005).
Estimate protein intake
  An average of 0.8 g per kilogram body weight is sufficient to meet needs. Approximately 15% of daily calories consumed should come from protein.
Estimate carbohydrate intake
  50% to 60% of the total calories consumed should come from carbohydrates, with selections predominantly coming from complex carbohydrates including grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Estimate fiber intake
  14 g per 1000 calories consumed (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2005). In children ages 3 to 18 years, the formula “age +5 g” should be used to determine fiber needs.
Measure mid–upper arm circumference (MAC)
Place measuring tape around upper right arm, midway between tips of olecranon and acromial processes. Hold tape snugly and make the reading to nearest 5 mm. EXPECTED:Between 10th and 95th percentiles.
UNEXPECTED:Less than 10th or greater than 95th percentile (see table on p. 25).

Percentiles for Midarm Circumference, Midarm Muscle Circumference, and Triceps Skinfold Thickness


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Mar 25, 2017 | Posted by in PHYSIOLOGY | Comments Off on Nutrition and Growth and Measurement

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