Several factors are taken into account to check whether someone is malnourished or at a high risk of malnutrition.
In adults, these include:
You would normally be considered malnourished if you have a BMI of less than 18.5 or you've unintentionally lost more than 5% of your body weight during the last three to six months. However, in some cases, doctors may be concerned about malnutrition if you have a BMI between 18.5 and 20.
You may be considered at a high risk of malnutrition if:
A vitamin or mineral deficiency can usually be diagnosed with a blood test.
Diagnosing malnutrition in children involves taking a measurement of their weight and height and comparing it against the expected average height and weight for a child of that age.
Some children will be below average because they're naturally smaller, but a significant drop below the expected level could indicate a risk of malnutrition.
Blood tests can also be used to measure protein levels in the blood. Low levels of protein may suggest that a child is malnourished.
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