The University of Southampton

MEDI6067 Assessment of Nutritional Status

Module Overview

This module develops your understanding and competency in assessing the nutritional health and wellbeing of groups or populations.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Provide you with the ability to master the basic principles of human nutrition that underlie the identification of nutritional requirements and the assessment of nutritional status. • Enable you to critically evaluate the approaches and methods that can be used to assess nutritional status, dietary exposure, energy and nutrient intake in groups and populations. • Enable you to critically evaluate the evidence required to establish the requirement for energy and nutrients, how this may be used to establish the dietary reference values, and in assessing nutritional health and wellbeing. • Develop your understanding, skills and competency in evaluating and interpreting evidence of nutritional health and wellbeing and how these can be used to develop and implement public health nutrition policies and programmes to control or manage public health nutrition problems

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Differentiate between research methods of enquiry that are appropriate for creating and interpreting data and information in public health nutrition.
  • Explain the interplay amongst metabolic demands, food intake, body composition, and functional capacity in the nutritional status of individuals and groups.
  • Defend and rationalise the different approaches and evidence-base needed to establish energy and nutrient requirements, and how they may be used to assess risk and inform policy and programme development and evaluation
  • Define and rationalise the different approaches to assessing nutritional status, how they may influence the design of surveillance programmes and intervention studies, and the interpretation of information of nutritional status that may be available.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Look at and explain public health issues though a nutrition lens.
  • Read critically empirical based research literature.
  • Use Dietplan6 for dietary analysis.
  • Discuss dietary requirements in the context of nutrition-related health.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the theory and methods of assessment of nutritional status at group, community and population level in terms of the dietary intake and pattern of food consumption; structure as size, shape and body composition; physical activity; and function as micronutrient status, physiological and metabolic capacity.
  • Discuss appropriate methods for assessing energy and nutrient requirements and nutritional status of groups and populations.
  • Assess diet, food and nutrient intakes, and physical activity in groups, communities, and populations in relation to nutrient requirements and reference values, and identify at-risk groups.
  • Explain, demonstrate, and assess competency of self and others in the measurement of height, weight, and waist circumference, assessment of growth, assessment of the diet, and assessment of physical activity.


• Basic concepts of nutrition: energy and nutrients, balance, supply and demand, essentiality, limiting nutrients, satisfying the demand, adaptation, requirements and recommendations. • Dietary reference values. • Assessment of nutritional status: diet, structure and function, indicators, and proxies. • Measuring body composition and assessing growth. • Assessing food and nutrient intakes. • Nutritional health and wellbeing of the nation. • Activity and health (including estimating energy requirements). • Assessing physical activity.

Special Features

Students will have the opportunity to acquire and demonstrate their competency in three key areas relating to the Standards of Proficiency associated with professional registration – measurement of height, weight, waist circumference and growth; dietary assessment; and physical activity

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning strategies will include: formal lectures, workshops, and practice based learning. The emphasis will be on student centred learning in which you will be supported by a wide range of resources. Staff, tutors and colleagues will support your professional learning.

Independent Study210
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Gibney MJ, Vorster EHH, Kok F (eds). (2012). Introduction to Human Nutrition. 

Nutritional assessment.

Gibson R. (2005). Principles of nutritional assessment. 

Department of Health (1991). Dietary reference values for Food energy and nutrients for the United Kingdom. 


Assessment Strategy

There will be five components to the assessment i) group presentation on dietary requirements, ii) individual written assignment on dietary requirements, and iii) demonstrable competencies in measurement and assessment of (a) growth, (b) diet and (c) physical activity. The pass mark for the module and group presentation and written components is 50%. The competencies are assessed on pass/fail. The written component and competencies must be passed to pass the module. If you do not achieve the pass mark on this module by achieving 50% or more in all components, you may still pass by compensation for the group presentation. To do this, you must achieve a qualifying mark of 40% in this component. Each of the component marks is then combined, using the appropriate weighting, to give an overall mark for the module. If this overall mark is greater than or equal to 50% you will have passed the module. If your overall mark is less than 50% when the weighting has been applied to the components, you will have failed the module. If you have not achieved 40% or more on all components, you cannot use compensation and have failed the module. If you have failed the module, you will have the opportunity to submit work at the next referral (re-sit) opportunity for all components where you have not achieved the pass mark. Marks for components which were passed will be carried forward. You must achieve the pass mark in all referred components. On passing your referrals, your final module mark will be capped at 50%.




MethodPercentage contribution
Demonstrable competency %
Demonstrable competency %
Demonstrable competency %
Group presentation  (25 minutes) 40%
Individual assignment  (1750 words) 60%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual assignment  (2000 words) 100%
Viva  (30 minutes) %

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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