Nutrition and Dietetics 303

NUTR 403: Nutrition Assessment

Prerequisites: BIOL 322 and Junior standing

Credit Hours: (3) Two hours lecture; two hours laboratory

Introduces techniques and interpretation of nutrition assessment parameters (dietary, physical, biochemical and clinical data) to determine the nutritional status, requirements and practice interventions/applications in health and disease.

Note(s): Students cannot receive credit for both NUTR 403 and NUTR 303.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Major Topics

  • Fundamentals of Nutritional Screening
  • Nutrition Assessment Tools and Techniques
  • Nutrition-focused Physical Assessment
  • Biochemical Nutrition Assessment
  • Pharmacology Assessment
  • Energy Needs Assessment
  • Body Composition Assessment
  • Fluid, Electrolyte Assessment
  • Assessment fundamentals of Nutrition Support


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The following instructional strategies will be used: lecture, demonstrations of assessment tools and techniques, writing-to-learn activities, practical application at health screenings, case studies, oral and written case study presentations, cooperative/group learning and use of computer technology. Evidence-based science and critical thinking strategies employed throughout the course.

This course is designed to provide students with in-depth knowledge and skills in comprehensive nutrition assessment which fulfills the Standards of Education required by the Commission on Accreditation in Dietetics.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

  • To provide students with the fundamental techniques of nutrition assessment for healthy populations and medically complex conditions.
  • Upon completion of this course students will be able to apply the principles of physiology, pathophysiology and nutrition science to accurately assess, interpret and recommend appropriate nutrition support therapy;

Successful completion of this course will enable the student to:

  • Demonstrate ability to collect and interpret pertinent information from a comprehensive nutrition assessment;
  • Assess the nutritional status of healthy and medically/surgically compromised patients;
  • Assess the nutritional status of patients with alterations in fluid/electrolyte status and medically complex patients;
  • Interpret assessment, diagnose nutrition related problems and describe the nutritional needs for these patients;
  • Prescribe nutrition support therapy to meet assessed patient’s nutritional needs
  • Critically evaluate tolerance/adequacy of prescribed nutrition sup port recommendations through continued assessment;
  • Exhibit the skills necessary to participate/perform clinical nutrition upskilling/assessment techniques


Assessment Measures

  • Graded written examination (Problem-base questions)
  • Individual and group participation in class discussions and practical interdisciplinary activities
  • Check-off on assessment techniques inclusive of upskilling equipment i.e., bone densometer, bioelectric impedance, calorimeter, etc.
  • Case Study Presentations (Oral and written) and class discussion
  • Nutrition Assessment Project by Disease State


Other Course Information

Supplemental readings from the current scientific literature will be required on timely topics in nutrition assessment & support therapy. The NUTR Upskilling equipment for nutrition assessment will be utilized throughout the course. This course, in part, fulfills the requirements for the Didactic Program in Dietetics approved by the American Dietetic Association’s Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education.


Review and Approval

February 2005 Final Approval Dr. Steve Lerch

Revised 3/6/09

March 27, 2012 Revised