Special Issue "Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition Methodology & Assessment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021) | Viewed by 37256

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Helen McCarthy
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Health and Biomedicine, Victoria University, 70-104 Ballarat Road, Footscray, VIC 3011, Australia
Interests: malnutrition; nutrition education; nutrition support; pediatric growth
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nutrition assessment is multifaceted, involving detailed information on dietary, anthropometric, body composition, clinical, and physical components. The reliability and practicality of these components for making a nutritional diagnosis can be influenced by factors such as age, ethnicity and health status, the cost and equipment requirements, and the skill level of the clinician. As the technological application of the assessment of nutritional status advances, there is a need to validate these new tools in terms of the level of detail and accuracy they add to diagnosing nutritional status in individuals and population groups. It is also necessary to consider if more detailed nutrition assessments impact on the health outcomes of individuals and groups.

The aim of this Special Issue is to update knowledge on current best practice in nutrition assessment methodologies, both those that are well established and newer novel approaches. We welcome different types of manuscript submissions, including original research articles and up-to-date reviews (systematic reviews and meta-analyses).

Dr. Helen McCarthy
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutrition Status
  • Diet
  • Anthropometric
  • Body Composition
  • Malnutrition

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Research

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Article
Reproducibility and Validity of a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) Developed for Middle-Aged and Older Adults in Semarang, Indonesia
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 4163; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13114163 - 20 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1323
Abstract
We assessed the reproducibility and validity of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) among middle-aged and older adults in Semarang, Indonesia. A total of 259 subjects aged 40–80 years completed two FFQs (nine-month apart) and nine 24 h dietary recalls (24HDRs, as a reference [...] Read more.
We assessed the reproducibility and validity of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) among middle-aged and older adults in Semarang, Indonesia. A total of 259 subjects aged 40–80 years completed two FFQs (nine-month apart) and nine 24 h dietary recalls (24HDRs, as a reference method). The reproducibility of the FFQ was analyzed using correlation coefficient, intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC), weighted kappa statistics and misclassification analysis. The validity was estimated by comparing the data acquired from FFQ1 and 24HDRs. The crude Pearson’s correlation coefficients and ICC for total energy and nutrients between FFQ1 and FFQ2 ranged from 0.50 to 0.81 and 0.44 to 0.78, respectively. Energy adjustment decreased the correlation coefficients for most nutrients. The crude, energy-adjusted and de-attenuated correlation coefficients for FFQ1 and 24HDRs ranged from 0.41 to 0.70, 0.31 to 0.89 and 0.54 to 0.82, respectively. The agreement rates for the same or adjacent quartile classifications were 81.1–94.6% for two FFQs and 80.7–89.6% for FFQ1 and 24HDRs. The weighted kappa values were 0.21 to 0.42 for two FFQs and 0.20 to 0.34 for FFQ1 and 24HDRs. A positive mean difference was found in the Bland–Altman analyses for energy and macronutrients. The FFQ could be acceptable for nutritional epidemiology study among Indonesians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Article
Comparing Assessment Tools as Candidates for Personalized Nutritional Evaluation of Senior Citizens in a Nursing Home
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 4160; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13114160 - 20 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1010
Abstract
Nutrition is an important health issue for seniors. In nursing homes, simple, inexpensive, fast, and validated tools to assess nutritional risk/status are indispensable. A multisurvey cross-sectional study with a convenient sample was created, comparing five nutritional screening/assessment tools and the time required for [...] Read more.
Nutrition is an important health issue for seniors. In nursing homes, simple, inexpensive, fast, and validated tools to assess nutritional risk/status are indispensable. A multisurvey cross-sectional study with a convenient sample was created, comparing five nutritional screening/assessment tools and the time required for each, in order to identify the most useful instrument for a nursing home setting. Nutrition risk/status was evaluated using the following tools: Subjective Global Assessment (SGA), Mini Nutritional Assessment Short Form (MNA-SF), Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST), Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 (NRS 2002), and calf girth (CG). The time spent completing each tool was recorded. Eighty-three subjects were included. MNA-SF and CG were the screening tools that ranked highest with regards to malnutrition identification. CG failed to identify nutritional risk/malnutrition in seniors with lower limb edema. CG was the fastest tool while SGA was the slowest. This was the first study comparing non-invasive nutritional tools with time expended as a consideration in the implementation. CG is responsive, fast, and reliable in elders without edema. MNA-SF was more efficient at detecting malnutrition cases in the elderly population. Both MNA-SF and CG are considered the most suitable for the nursing home setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Article
Nutritional Inadequacy: Unraveling the Methodological Challenges for the Application of the Probability Approach or the EAR Cut-Point Method—A Pregnancy Perspective
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3473; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103473 - 29 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1234
Abstract
The aim of this study was to unravel the methodological challenges when exploring nutritional inadequacy, involving 608 healthy pregnant women. The usual intake of twenty-one nutrients was recorded by employing a validated FFQ. Simulated datasets of usual intake were generated, with randomly imposed [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to unravel the methodological challenges when exploring nutritional inadequacy, involving 608 healthy pregnant women. The usual intake of twenty-one nutrients was recorded by employing a validated FFQ. Simulated datasets of usual intake were generated, with randomly imposed uncertainty. The comparison between the usual intake and the EAR was accomplished with the probability approach and the EAR cut-point method. Point estimates were accompanied by bootstrap confidence intervals. Bootstrap intervals applied on the risk of inadequacy for raw and simulated data tended in most cases to overlap. A detailed statistical analysis, aiming to predict the level of inadequacy, as well as the application of the EAR cut-point method, along with bootstrap intervals, could effectively be used to assess nutrient inadequacy. However, the final decision for the method used depends on the distribution of nutrient-intake under evaluation. Irrespective of the applied methodology, moderate to high levels of inadequacy, calculated from FFQ were identified for certain nutrients (e.g., vitamins C, B6, magnesium, vitamin A), while the highest were recorded for folate and iron. Considering that micronutrient-poor, obesogenic diets are becoming more common, the underlying rationale may help towards unraveling the complexity characterizing nutritional inadequacies, especially in vulnerable populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Article
Preference, Expected Burden, and Willingness to Use Digital and Traditional Methods to Assess Food and Alcohol Intake
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3340; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103340 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 906
Abstract
We conducted an online survey to examine the preference, expected burden, and willingness of people to use four different methods of assessing food and alcohol intake such as food/drink record, 24-h recall, Remote Food Photography Method© (RFPM, via SmartIntake® app), and a [...] Read more.
We conducted an online survey to examine the preference, expected burden, and willingness of people to use four different methods of assessing food and alcohol intake such as food/drink record, 24-h recall, Remote Food Photography Method© (RFPM, via SmartIntake® app), and a novel app (PortionSize®) that allows the in-app portion size estimation of foods/drinks by the user. For food (N = 1959) and alcohol (N = 466) intake assessment, 67.3% and 63.3%, respectively, preferred the RFPM/SmartIntake®, 51.9% and 53.4% preferred PortionSize®, 48.0% and 49.3% the food records, and 32.9% and 33.9% the 24-h recalls (difference in preference across all methods was p < 0.001 for food and alcohol intake). Ratings of burden and preference of methods were virtually superimposable, and we found strong correlations between high preference and low expected burden for all methods (all ρ ≥ 0.82; all p < 0.001). Willingness (mean (SD)) to use the RFPM/SmartIntake® (food: 6.6 (2.0); alcohol: 6.4 (2.4)) was greater than PortionSize® (food: 6.0 (2.2); alcohol: 6.0 (2.4); all p < 0.001) and 24-h recalls (food: 6.1 (2.2); alcohol: 5.7 (2.7); p < 0.001), but not different from food records (food: 6.6 (2.0); alcohol: 6.5 (2.3); all p ≥ 0.33). Our results can be used in conjunction with existing data on the reliability and validity of these methods in order to inform the selection of methods for the assessment of food and alcohol intake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Article
Evaluation of a Novel WeChat Applet for Image-Based Dietary Assessment among Pregnant Women in China
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3158; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093158 - 10 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1235
Abstract
As an important part of antenatal care for pregnant women in China, dietary assessment plays a positive role in maternal and fetal health. Shortcomings in the associated methodologies require improvement. Our purpose was to develop a novel WeChat Applet for image-based dietary assessment [...] Read more.
As an important part of antenatal care for pregnant women in China, dietary assessment plays a positive role in maternal and fetal health. Shortcomings in the associated methodologies require improvement. Our purpose was to develop a novel WeChat Applet for image-based dietary assessment (WAIDA) and evaluate its relative validity among pregnant women in China. Data on 251 lunch meals of pregnant women in their second trimester were analyzed. The differences in food weight, energy, and nutrient estimates by the dietary recall or WAIDA method with the weighing method were compared using paired t-tests. Pearson correlation coefficients were used to analyze the correlation between food weight, energy, and nutrient intake obtained from the recall or WAIDA method and those obtained from the weighing method. The Bland–Altman analysis was used to examine the agreement between the recall or WAIDA method and the weighing method for energy and nutrients. Compared with the weighing method, the variation range of food weight, energy and nutrients estimated by the WAIDA method was smaller and more stable than that estimated by the recall method. Compared with the recall method, the correlations suggested a better relationship between the energy and nutrient intakes from the weighing method and those estimated by the WAIDA method (0.752–0.970 vs. 0.480–0.887), which were similar to those of food weight (0.332–0.973 vs. −0.019–0.794). The Bland-Altman analysis showed that the mean differences of the energy and nutrients estimated from the recall method were further away from zero relative to the weighing method compared to the WAIDA method and with numerically wider 95% confidence intervals. The spans between the upper and lower 95% limit of agreement (LOAs) of the energy and nutrients obtained by the WAIDA method were narrower than those obtained by the recall method, and the majority of the data points obtained by the WAIDA method lay between the LOAs, closer to the middle horizontal line. Compared with the recall method, the WAIDA method is consistent with the weighing method, close to the real value of dietary data, and expected to be suitable for dietary assessment in antenatal care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Article
Fructan Improves Survival and Function of Cryopreserved Rat Islets
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 2959; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13092959 - 25 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 955
Abstract
Cryopreservation of pancreatic islets enables their long-term storage and subsequent transplantation; however, post-cryopreservation, islets viability, and functions are reduced to a significant extent. Islet is composed of five cells (α cell, β cell, δ cell, ε cell, and PP cell), and blood vessels [...] Read more.
Cryopreservation of pancreatic islets enables their long-term storage and subsequent transplantation; however, post-cryopreservation, islets viability, and functions are reduced to a significant extent. Islet is composed of five cells (α cell, β cell, δ cell, ε cell, and PP cell), and blood vessels that carry the nutrition. Freezing technology of the organization has not developed a good method. This paper is studied using a fructan which has been found to effectively freeze protect a material of the cell. Islet transplantation has been established as an effective means of treating patients with type 1 diabetes. In this study, we demonstrated the effectiveness of using a fructan on the cryopreserved islets by showing valid results for diabetes. Isolated rat islets were cryopreserved using phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) supplemented with different concentrations of fructan and/or dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) in FBS. The survival rates of the islets were estimated at different time intervals, and insulin secretion function was tested in vitro. Furthermore, the in vivo function was tested by syngeneic transplantation into streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, and the grafts were analyzed histologically and immunohistochemically. Fructan significantly increased islet survival; 30% fructan led to survival rates of more than 90% on day 3, which was significantly higher than those of the DMSO groups (p < 0.05). For both fructan and DMSO, the survival showed dose dependence, with the highest rates observed for 30% fructan and 10% DMSO, respectively (p < 0.05). The fructan groups showed a significantly increased insulin secretion volume in comparison to the DMSO groups (p < 0.05). Furthermore, cell clusters of pancreatic islets were well maintained in the fructan group, whereas margin collapse and vacuolation were observed in the DMSO group. Three days after transplantation of pancreatic islets preserved with 30% fructan, the blood glucose levels of diabetic rats were restored to the normal range, and removal of transplanted pancreatic islets from the kidney led to a profound increase in blood glucose levels. Together, these results show that a fructan is effective at cryopreserving rat pancreatic islets for subsequent transplantation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Article
Feasibility and Acceptability of Photographic Food Record, Food Diary and Weighed Food Record in People with Serious Mental Illness
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2862; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082862 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1547
Abstract
People with serious mental illness (SMI) experience challenges that may make typical dietary assessment methods less feasible and accurate. This study aims to determine the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary validity of a 3-day photographic food record (PR), a 1-day food diary (FD) and [...] Read more.
People with serious mental illness (SMI) experience challenges that may make typical dietary assessment methods less feasible and accurate. This study aims to determine the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary validity of a 3-day photographic food record (PR), a 1-day food diary (FD) and a 1-day weighed food protocol (WR) in people with SMI. Participants completed measures at two timepoints, with a 4-week interval. Feasibility and acceptability for each method were measured through four outcomes: percent of completers, quality assessment, number of participants requiring technical devices and satisfaction questionnaire. Relative validity was measured by agreement in estimated energy intake between methods, using Bland–Altman analysis and WR as the benchmark, and prevalence of misreporting, using the Goldberg cut-off method, updated by Black. In total, 63 participants were recruited, with a dropout rate of 19.0% prior to timepoint 1 and additional 6.4% prior to timepoint 2. Quality deficits were identified for all methods. The FD was most acceptable to participants, followed by the PR. The difference in estimated energy intake between assessment methods was not statistically significant, though there was considerable individual variability. Underreporting was considerable across all methods but appeared highest in the PR. A FD and PR present as feasible and acceptable methods for assessing dietary intake in people with SMI. Further validity testing is required. In addition, clear guidance for completion and removal of potential barriers is required for participants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Article
Risk of Malnutrition upon Admission and after Discharge in Acutely Admitted Older Medical Patients: A Prospective Observational Study
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2757; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082757 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1322
Abstract
There is a lack of knowledge about malnutrition and risk of malnutrition upon admission and after discharge in older medical patients. This study aimed to describe prevalence, risk factors, and screening tools for malnutrition in older medical patients. In a prospective observational study, [...] Read more.
There is a lack of knowledge about malnutrition and risk of malnutrition upon admission and after discharge in older medical patients. This study aimed to describe prevalence, risk factors, and screening tools for malnutrition in older medical patients. In a prospective observational study, malnutrition was evaluated in 128 older medical patients (≥65 years) using the Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 (NRS-2002), the Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form (MNA-SF) and the Eating Validation Scheme (EVS). The European Society of Clinical Nutrition (ESPEN) diagnostic criteria from 2015 were applied for diagnosis. Agreement between the screening tools was evaluated by kappa statistics. Risk factors for malnutrition included polypharmacy, dysphagia, depression, low functional capacity, eating-related problems and lowered cognitive function. Malnutrition or risk of malnutrition were prevalent at baseline (59–98%) and follow-up (30–88%). The baseline, follow-up and transitional agreements ranged from slight to moderate. NRS-2002 and MNA-SF yielded the highest agreement (kappa: 0.31 (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.18–0.44) to 0.57 (95%CI 0.42–0.72)). Prevalence of risk factors ranged from 17–68%. Applying ESPEN 2015 diagnostic criteria, 15% had malnutrition at baseline and 13% at follow-up. In conclusion, malnutrition, risk of malnutrition and risk factors hereof are prevalent in older medical patients. MNA-SF and NRS-2002 showed the highest agreement at baseline, follow-up, and transitionally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Article
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis and Mid-Upper Arm Muscle Circumference Can Be Used to Detect Low Muscle Mass in Clinical Practice
Nutrients 2021, 13(7), 2350; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13072350 - 09 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1506
Abstract
Identification of low muscle mass becomes increasingly relevant due to its prognostic value in cancer patients. In clinical practice, mid-upper arm muscle circumference (MAMC) and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) are often used to assess muscle mass. For muscle-mass assessment, computed tomography (CT) is [...] Read more.
Identification of low muscle mass becomes increasingly relevant due to its prognostic value in cancer patients. In clinical practice, mid-upper arm muscle circumference (MAMC) and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) are often used to assess muscle mass. For muscle-mass assessment, computed tomography (CT) is considered as reference standard. We investigated concordance between CT, BIA, and MAMC, diagnostic accuracy of MAMC, and BIA to detect low muscle mass and their relation with the clinical outcome malnutrition provided with the Patient-Generated Subjective Global Assessment Short Form (PG-SGA SF). This cross-sectional study included adult patients with advanced esophageal and gastrointestinal cancer. BIA, MAMC, and PG-SGA-SF were performed. Routine CT-scans were used to quantify psoas muscle index (PMI) and skeletal muscle area. Good concordance was found between CTPMI and both BIAFFMI (fat free mass index) (ICC 0.73), and BIAASMI (appendicular skeletal muscle index) (ICC 0.69) but not with MAMC (ICC 0.37). BIAFFMI (94%), BIAASMI (86%), and MAMC (86%) showed high specificity but low sensitivity. PG-SGA-SF modestly correlated with all muscle-mass measures (ranging from −0.17 to −0.43). Of all patients with low muscle mass, 62% were also classified with a PG-SGA-SF score of ≥4 points. Although CT remains the first choice, since both BIA and MAMC are easy to perform by dieticians, they have the potential to be used to detect low muscle mass in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Article
Differences in the Factor Structure of the Eating Attitude Test-26 (EAT-26) in Different Cultures in Israel: Jews, Muslims, and Christians
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1899; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061899 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1782
Abstract
Background: In recent years, there has been a shift in the clinical presentation and, hence, diagnostic definitions of eating disorders (EDs), reflected in a dramatic change in the diagnostic criteria of EDs in the DSM-5. The Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26) is currently considered [...] Read more.
Background: In recent years, there has been a shift in the clinical presentation and, hence, diagnostic definitions of eating disorders (EDs), reflected in a dramatic change in the diagnostic criteria of EDs in the DSM-5. The Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26) is currently considered an accepted instrument for community studies of EDs, although it features an inconsistent factorial structure in different cultures. Therefore, it is essential to investigate whether the EAT-26 can still be considered an adequate instrument for identifying the risk of developing EDs in different cultures. The aim of the present study was to examine the construct validity and internal consistency of the EAT-26. Method: The study used exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) among different cultural populations in Israel. Results: Findings indicated different factors in different ethnic groups, most of which do not correspond with the original EAT-26 three-factor structure. Results: The analysis yielded two main factors among Israeli Jews, four main factors among Israeli Muslim Arabs, and three main factors among Israeli Christian Arabs. Conclusion: These findings shed light on cultural factors affecting perceptions of the EAT-26 items. This calls for a reconsideration of the generalization of the original three-factor structure of the questionnaire in different cultures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
Article
Comparison of Simplified Creatinine Index and Systemic Inflammatory Markers for Nutritional Evaluation of Hemodialysis Patients
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1870; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061870 - 30 May 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1643
Abstract
Protein-energy wasting (PEW) is associated with adverse outcomes in hemodialysis patients. This study compares the simplified creatinine index (SCI) and circulating inflammatory markers as nutritional screening tools for hemodialysis patients. Maintenance hemodialysis patients (230 total patients, 34.8% women, 64.0 ± 14.3 years old) [...] Read more.
Protein-energy wasting (PEW) is associated with adverse outcomes in hemodialysis patients. This study compares the simplified creatinine index (SCI) and circulating inflammatory markers as nutritional screening tools for hemodialysis patients. Maintenance hemodialysis patients (230 total patients, 34.8% women, 64.0 ± 14.3 years old) from a tertiary medical center were assessed for demographic data, body composition analysis, biochemistry tests, and circulating inflammatory biomarkers. The SCI was calculated using Canaud’s formula. Reduced fat-free mass index (FFMI), a surrogate of lean body mass, was identified according to the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism guidelines. Nutritional status was assessed by the geriatric nutritional risk index (GNRI) and International Society of Renal Nutrition and Metabolism (ISRNM) criteria. Multivariate logistic regression revealed independent risk factors for low FFMI and malnutrition. Of the patients, 47.4% had low FFMI. Patients with a reduction in FFMI tended to be older females with lower body mass index, SCI, and GNRI scores but significantly higher levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and IL-8. SCI was found to be an independent predictor for reduced FFMI (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.40–0.81) and presence of PEW according to ISRNM criteria (OR 0.38, 95% CI 0.21–0.68). Although a positive association between systemic inflammatory markers and low FFMI was observed, this association disappeared in multivariate analysis. Moreover, the inflammatory markers examined in this study were not associated with malnutrition after adjusting for potential confounders. Compared with markers of systemic inflammation, SCI achieved better performance in assessing the nutritional status of hemodialysis patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Article
Re-Defining the Population-Specific Cut-Off Mark for Vitamin A Deficiency in Pre-School Children of Malawi
Nutrients 2021, 13(3), 849; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030849 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1037
Abstract
Retinol Binding Protein (RBP) is responsible for the transport of serum retinol (SR) to target tissue in the body. Since RBP is relatively easy and cheap to measure, it is widely used in national Micronutrient Surveys (MNS) as a proxy for SR to [...] Read more.
Retinol Binding Protein (RBP) is responsible for the transport of serum retinol (SR) to target tissue in the body. Since RBP is relatively easy and cheap to measure, it is widely used in national Micronutrient Surveys (MNS) as a proxy for SR to determine vitamin A status. By regressing RBP concentration against SR concentration measured in a subset of the survey population, one can define a population-specific threshold concentration of RBP that indicates vitamin A deficiency (VAD). However, the relationship between RBP and SR concentrations is affected by various factors including inflammation. This study, therefore, aimed to re-define the population-specific cut-off for VAD by examining the influence of inflammation on RBP and SR, among pre-school children (PSC) from the 2015–16 Malawi MNS. The initial association between RBP and SR concentrations was poor, and this remained the case despite applying various methods to correct for inflammation. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the threshold of 0.7 µmol/L to define VAD for SR concentrations. Applying this threshold to the RBP concentrations gave a VAD prevalence of 24%, which reduced to 10% after inflammation adjustments following methods developed by the Biomarkers Reflecting Inflammation and Nutritional Determinants of Anemia (BRINDA). Further research is required to identify why SR and RBP were poorly associated in this population. Future MNS will need to account for the effect of inflammation on RBP to measure the prevalence of VAD in Malawi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Article
The Feasibility of Using Computrition Software for Nutrition Research—A Pilot Study
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020329 - 23 Jan 2021
Viewed by 963
Abstract
We evaluated the feasibility of using Computrition to design and implement a low vs. typical sodium meal plan intervention for older adults. Dietitians used Computrition to design a 7-day meal plan with three caloric levels (≤1750, 2000, ≥2250 kcals/day) and two sodium densities [...] Read more.
We evaluated the feasibility of using Computrition to design and implement a low vs. typical sodium meal plan intervention for older adults. Dietitians used Computrition to design a 7-day meal plan with three caloric levels (≤1750, 2000, ≥2250 kcals/day) and two sodium densities (low = 0.9 mg/kcal; n = 11 or typical = 2 mg/kcal; n = 9). Feasibility was determined by post-hoc definitions of effectiveness, sodium compliance, palatability of diet, sustainability, and safety. Given the low number of participants in one of the three calorie groups, the higher calorie groups were combined. Thus, comparisons are between low vs. typical meal plans at two calorie levels (≤1750 or ≥2000 kcals/day). Overall, regardless of the calorie group, the meal plans created with Computrition were effective in reaching the targeted sodium density and were safe for participants. Furthermore, individuals appeared to be equally compliant and reported similar palatability across meal plans. However, one of the three criteria for the sustainability definition was not met. In conclusion, we successfully used Computrition to design low and typical sodium meal plans that were effective, compliable, and safe. Future studies of older adults in similar settings should focus on improving the palatability of the meal plans and scaling this protocol to larger studies in older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Article
Providing Comprehensive Dietary Fatty Acid Profiling from Saturates to Polyunsaturates with the Malaysia Lipid Study-Food Frequency Questionnaire: Validation Using the Triads Approach
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010120 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1717
Abstract
To address limited food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) capacity in public health monitoring in Malaysia, we aimed to develop a semi-quantitative FFQ for an adult multiethnic population for comprehensive fatty acid (FA) profiling inclusive of saturated (SFA), monounsaturated (MUFA), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), PUFA:SFA [...] Read more.
To address limited food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) capacity in public health monitoring in Malaysia, we aimed to develop a semi-quantitative FFQ for an adult multiethnic population for comprehensive fatty acid (FA) profiling inclusive of saturated (SFA), monounsaturated (MUFA), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), PUFA:SFA ratio, trans fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6 FAs. A 240-food itemed FFQ used diet records (DR) of Malaysia Lipid Study (MLS) participants and fatty acid composition database from laboratory analyzed foods. The developed MLS-FFQ underwent face and content validation before relative validation in a free-living population (n = 114). Validation was facilitated for macronutrient data comparisons between DR and FFQ via Spearman’s correlation coefficient analyses; and for fatty acid composition data by independent pairing of DR, FFQ and plasma triglyceride using the triads method. Moderate correlation between dietary methods was obtained for macronutrients and FAs (r = 0.225–0.457, p < 0.05) except for ω-3 FAs, presenting good agreement with grossly misclassified nutrients <10%. For fatty acid composition data, the magnitude of validity coefficients (z) for SFA, PUFA, PUFA:SFA ratios and ω-6 FAs by all 3 methods were not significantly different (p > 0.05). In conclusion, the MLS-FFQ was shown to be a valid tool to assess population dietary intakes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Article
Assessing Mediterranean Diet Adherence with the Smartphone: The Medipiatto Project
Nutrients 2020, 12(12), 3763; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12123763 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2940
Abstract
The Mediterranean diet (MD) is regarded as a healthy eating pattern with beneficial effects both for the decrease of the risk for non-communicable diseases and also for body weight reduction. In the current manuscript, we propose an automated smartphone application which monitors and [...] Read more.
The Mediterranean diet (MD) is regarded as a healthy eating pattern with beneficial effects both for the decrease of the risk for non-communicable diseases and also for body weight reduction. In the current manuscript, we propose an automated smartphone application which monitors and evaluates the user’s adherence to MD using images of the food and drinks that they consume. We define a set of rules for automatic adherence estimation, which focuses on the main MD food groups. We use a combination of a convolutional neural network (CNN) and a graph convolutional network to detect the types of foods and quantities from the users’ food images and the defined set of rules to evaluate the adherence to MD. Our experiments show that our system outperforms a basic CNN in terms of recognizing food items and estimating quantity and yields comparable results as experienced dietitians when it comes to overall MD adherence estimation. As the system is novel, these results are promising; however, there is room for improvement of the accuracy by gathering and training with more data and certain refinements can be performed such as re-defining the set of rules to also be able to be used for sub-groups of MD (e.g., vegetarian type of MD). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Article
Association of Ultrasound-Derived Metrics of the Quadriceps Muscle with Protein Energy Wasting in Hemodialysis Patients: A Multicenter Cross-Sectional Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(11), 3597; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12113597 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1539
Abstract
This study aimed to assess muscle wasting and risk of protein energy wasting (PEW) in hemodialysis (HD) patients using an ultrasound (US) imaging method. PEW was identified using the ISRNM criteria in 351 HD patients. Quadriceps muscle thickness of rectus femoris (RF) and [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess muscle wasting and risk of protein energy wasting (PEW) in hemodialysis (HD) patients using an ultrasound (US) imaging method. PEW was identified using the ISRNM criteria in 351 HD patients. Quadriceps muscle thickness of rectus femoris (RF) and vastus intermedius (VI) muscles and cross-sectional area (CSA) of the RF muscle (RFCSA) were measured using US and compared with other physical measures. Associations of US indices with PEW were determined by logistic regression. Irrespective of gender, PEW vs. non-PEW patients had smaller RF, VI muscles, and RFCSA (all p < 0.001). US muscle sites (all p < 0.001) discriminated PEW from non-PEW patients, but the RFCSA compared to bio-impedance spectroscopy had a greater area under the curve (AUC, 0.686 vs. 0.581), sensitivity (72.8% vs. 65.8%), and specificity (55.6% vs. 53.9%). AUC of the RFCSA was greatest for PEW risk in men (0.74, 95% CI: 0.66–0.82) and women (0.80, 95% CI: 0.70–0.90) (both p < 0.001). Gender-specific RFCSA values (men < 6.00 cm2; women < 4.47 cm2) indicated HD patients with smaller RFCSA were 8 times more likely to have PEW (AOR = 8.63, 95% CI: 4.80–15.50, p < 0.001). The US approach enabled discrimination of muscle wasting in HD patients with PEW. The RFCSA was identified as the best US site with gender-specific RFCSA values to associate with PEW risk, suggesting potential diagnostic criteria for muscle wasting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Article
Evaluation of the Ability of Diet-Tracking Mobile Applications to Estimate Energy and Nutrient Intake in Japan
Nutrients 2020, 12(11), 3327; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12113327 - 29 Oct 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1679
Abstract
We evaluated the energy and nutrient intake estimates of popular Japanese diet-tracking mobile applications (apps). We identified five diet-tracking apps in the iTunes store during August 2020. A researcher entered the dietary data from a one-day paper-based dietary record (DR) previously obtained from [...] Read more.
We evaluated the energy and nutrient intake estimates of popular Japanese diet-tracking mobile applications (apps). We identified five diet-tracking apps in the iTunes store during August 2020. A researcher entered the dietary data from a one-day paper-based dietary record (DR) previously obtained from apparently healthy free-living adults (15 males and 15 females; 22–65 years) into each app. The energy and nutrient intakes estimated by the apps were compared with those calculated using the Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan based on the paper-based DR (reference method). The number of dietary variables available ranged from one (energy in Mogutan) to 17 (FiNC). Compared to the DR-based estimates, the median energy intake was significantly overestimated by MyFitnessPal, Asken, Calomiru, and Mogutan. Moreover, the intakes of many nutrients were overestimated by Asken and Calomiru and underestimated by MyFitnessPal. For energy intake, the Spearman correlation coefficient between the DR and the apps was lowest for Mogutan (0.76) and highest for FiNC (0.96). The median correlation coefficient for nutrient intakes was lower in MyFitnessPal (0.50) than in the other three apps (0.80 in Asken, 0.87 in FiNC, and 0.88 in Calomiru). These results suggest that intake calculations differ among apps. Further evaluation is needed in free-living settings, where users input their own food intake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Review

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Review
The Utility of Body Composition Assessment in Nutrition and Clinical Practice: An Overview of Current Methodology
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2493; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082493 - 22 Jul 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3602
Abstract
Body composition is a key component for maintaining good general health and longevity. It can be influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, environment, and lifestyle choices. The assessment of body composition is an essential tool for nutrition specialists to effectively evaluate [...] Read more.
Body composition is a key component for maintaining good general health and longevity. It can be influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, environment, and lifestyle choices. The assessment of body composition is an essential tool for nutrition specialists to effectively evaluate nutritional status and monitor progression during dietary interventions. As humans age, there is a natural increase in fat mass coupled with a gradual decline in lean mass, specifically in bone and muscle mass. Individuals with a high body fat percentage are at a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, several types of cancer, and early mortality. Significant decreases in bone mineral density signify osteopenia and osteoporosis, while reductions in skeletal muscle mass increase the risk of developing sarcopenia. Moreover, undernutrition exacerbates the effects of many medical conditions and is important to address. Though weight tracking and calculation of BMI are used commonly by clinicians and dietitians, these measures do not provide insight on the relative contributions of fat mass and fat-free mass or the changes in these compartments that may reflect disease risk. Therefore, it is important that healthcare professionals have a critical understanding of body composition assessment and the strengths and limitations of the methods available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Review
Assessment of Body Composition in Athletes: A Narrative Review of Available Methods with Special Reference to Quantitative and Qualitative Bioimpedance Analysis
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1620; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051620 - 12 May 2021
Cited by 67 | Viewed by 5998
Abstract
Body composition is acknowledged as a determinant of athletic health and performance. Its assessment is crucial in evaluating the efficiency of a diet or aspects related to the nutritional status of the athlete. Despite the methods traditionally used to assess body composition, bioelectric [...] Read more.
Body composition is acknowledged as a determinant of athletic health and performance. Its assessment is crucial in evaluating the efficiency of a diet or aspects related to the nutritional status of the athlete. Despite the methods traditionally used to assess body composition, bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA) and bioelectric impedance vector analysis (BIVA) have recently gained attention in sports, as well as in a research context. Only until recently have specific regression equations and reference tolerance ellipses for athletes become available, while specific recommendations for measurement procedures still remain scarce. Therefore, the present narrative review summarizes the current literature regarding body composition analysis, with a special focus on BIA and BIVA. The use of specific technologies and sampling frequencies is described, and recommendations for the assessment of body composition in athletes are provided. Additionally, the estimation of body composition parameters (i.e., quantitative analysis) and the interpretation of the raw bioelectrical data (i.e., qualitative analysis) are examined, highlighting the innovations now available in athletes. Lastly, it should be noted that, up until 2020, the use of BIA and BIVA in athletes failed to provide accurate results due to unspecific equations and references; however, new perspectives are now unfolding for researchers and practitioners. In light of this, BIA and especially BIVA can be utilized to monitor the nutritional status and the seasonal changes in body composition in athletes, as well as provide accurate within- and between-athlete comparisons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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Review
Protein-Energy Wasting Assessment and Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Acute Kidney Injury: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2809; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092809 - 13 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1579
Abstract
Nutritional assessment is essential to identify patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) who are protein-energy wasting (PEW) and at risk of poor clinical outcomes. This systematic review aimed to investigate the relationship of nutritional assessments for PEW with clinical outcomes in patients with [...] Read more.
Nutritional assessment is essential to identify patients with acute kidney injury (AKI) who are protein-energy wasting (PEW) and at risk of poor clinical outcomes. This systematic review aimed to investigate the relationship of nutritional assessments for PEW with clinical outcomes in patients with AKI. A systematic search was performed in PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane Library databases using search terms related to PEW, nutrition assessment, and AKI to identify prospective cohort studies that involved AKI adult patients with at least one nutritional assessment performed and reported relevant clinical outcomes, such as mortality, length of stay, and renal outcomes associated with the nutritional parameters. Seventeen studies reporting eight nutritional parameters for PEW assessment were identified and mortality was the main clinical outcome reported. A meta-analysis showed that PEW assessed using subjective global assessment (SGA) was associated with greater mortality risk (RR: 1.99, 95% CI: 1.36–2.91). Individual nutrition parameters, such as serum chemistry, body mass, muscle mass, and dietary intakes, were not consistently associated with mortality. In conclusion, SGA is a valid tool for PEW assessment in patients with AKI, while other nutrition parameters in isolation had limited validity for PEW assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Assessment Methodology: Current Update and Practice)
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