Malnutrition screening and assessment in paediatrics

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Paediatric malnutrition is often considered exclusive to developing countries and as such is under diagnosed in developed countries like Australia. It is essential to identify children who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition to prevent the clinical, developmental and financial consequences of under nutrition.

This presentation will clarify the anthropometric related definitions of malnutrition in infants and children and discuss broader classifications of paediatric malnutrition. The global and local incidence of malnutrition will be examined including the findings of the first Australian multisite study to investigate the prevalence of malnutrition in paediatric inpatients.

Current paediatric nutrition screening tools to identify children who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition will be presented including the new, validated Paediatric Nutrition Screening Tool (PNST). The presentation will provide a practical guide to completing the anthropometric, historical and physical components of paediatric subjective global nutritional assessment (Secker DJ, Jeejeebhoy KN. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012;112(3):424-431) and summarise the recent consensus statement from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition on the indicators recommended for the identification and documentation of paediatric malnutrition.


Dr Melinda White APD BSc(Hon), Grad Dip Nur&Diet, PhD

Paediatric Dietitian – Clinical Consultant

Dr White has worked as a paediatric dietitian for over 19 years and is the Clinical Consultant in paediatric nutrition at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital where she provides a daily clinical nutrition service to the intensive care unit. She has a PhD in the area of paediatric nutrition and has continued with paediatric research resulting in several research grants and international publications in clinical paediatric nutrition. Recently she has led the National Paediatric Nutrition Snapshot Day and multi-centre translational research in paediatric nutrition screening.   She is an Honorary Research Consultant with the School of Medicine, University of Queensland, a Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Children’s Nutrition Research Centre and a Visiting Fellow in the Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology.

Supported by

Nestle Health Science

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