HLTH 7011 Nutritional Assessment Methods

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 301184

Coordinator Li Li Opens in new window

Description This unit aims to introduce students to methodologies that incorporate anthropometric, biochemical, clinical, dietary and physical activity assessment to assess the nutritional status of individuals and groups. Students will critically explore the strengths and limitations of various methods. Students will also learn to make professional judgement regarding when and how to use methods, including validating nutritional status assessment methods to achieve valid and reliable nutritional assessment outcomes.

School Science

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Restrictions Unit coordinator permission is required, to ensure that prospective students have completed sufficient undergraduate study (the equivalent of 30 credit points of undergraduate study at Western) that focus on nutrition science, life cycle nutrition, and the relationship between diet and disease. This is essential, assumed knowledge for this unit, as the subject does not teach these topics.

Assumed Knowledge

Undergraduate knowledge of human nutrition, including nutrition science, life cycle nutrition, and the relationship between diet and disease.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Select, justify, implement, and interpret data from, tools and methodologies for assessing the nutritional status of individuals or groups, for various purposes and assess data/results against various guidelines/references.
  2. Critique the strengths and limitations (including measurement errors) of various nutritional status assessment techniques, tools and methodologies.
  3. Obtain, organise, analyse, and present dietary data and interpret results, utilising suitable nutritional analysis software, databases, techniques and procedures.
  4. Describe, critique, apply, and interpret results from, various methods used to determine the comparative validity and reliability of specific tools and methods used to assess nutritional status.
  5. Communicate professionally and effectively in verbal and written formats.

Subject Content

1. Methods, including their strengths, weaknesses, and when and how to use, that can be used to assess the nutritional status of groups and individuals. This includes:
i. Anthropometry (for example, body composition)
ii. Biochemical (for example, iron deficiency anaemia)
iii. Clinical (for example, sarcopenia)
iv. Dietary methods (for example, diet diversity or energy intake)
v. Physical activity level
vi. Energy expenditure
2. Results of various nutritional assessment methods to evaluate nutritionally related issues or assess progress against guidelines/references/standards to assess nutritional status (for example, nutrient reference values).
3. Comparative validity and reliability of methods that are used to assess nutritional status (for those that have not been already validated) and the results from validation studies.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Quiz: Multiple choice and short answer to test concepts and theories; closed book 1 hour 20 N Individual
Critical Review: Short answer and long answer to test concepts and theories 1,000 words 20 N Individual
Final Exam: Multiple choice and short answer to test concepts and theories; closed book 2 hours 40 N Individual
Simulation: Practical assessment to test concepts and theories 1,500 words 20 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Gibson, R. 2005, Principles of nutritional assessment, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, New York.

Teaching Periods

2022 Semester 1

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Li Li Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

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