Chapter 7: Assessment of Nutritional Status

Chapter 7: Assessment of Nutritional Status is a topic covered in the Harrison's Manual of Medicine.

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Stability of body weight requires that energy intake and expenditures are balanced over time. The major categories of energy output are resting energy expenditure (REE) and physical activity; minor sources include the energy cost of metabolizing food (thermic effect of food or specific dynamic action) and shivering thermogenesis. The average energy intake is about 2600 kcal/d for men and about 1800 kcal/d for women, though these estimates vary with age, body size, and activity level. Malnutrition occurs in 30–50% of hospitalized pts, depending upon the setting and severity of illness. The presence of inflammation, including after surgical procedures, can increase energy expenditure and alter nutritional assessment indicators such as albumin.

Dietary reference intakes (DRIs) and recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) have been defined for many nutrients, including 9 essential amino acids, 4 fat-soluble and 10 water-soluble vitamins, several minerals, fatty acids, choline, and water (see Tables 325-1, 325-2, and 325-3 in HPIM-20). The usual water requirements are 1.0–1.5 mL/kcal energy expenditure in adults, with adjustments for excessive losses. The RDA for protein is 0.6-g/kg ideal body weight, representing 10–15% of total caloric intake. Fat should constitute ≤30% of calories, and saturated fat should be <10% of calories. At least 55% of calories should be derived from carbohydrates.

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