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Revista Paulista de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0103-0582On-line version ISSN 1984-0462


BROCK, Romy Schmidt  and  FALCAO, Mário Cícero. Nutritional assessment of newborn infants: current method limitations and new perspectives. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2008, vol.26, n.1, pp.70-76. ISSN 0103-0582.

OBJECTIVE: To review the literature regarding different approaches to the nutritional assessment of the newborn infant. DATA SOURCES: Retrieval of publications on nutritional assessment of newborn infants in Medline, SciELO and Lilacs, during the last ten years using as key-words "anthropometry" and "nutrition assessment". DATA SYNTHESIS: The nutritional assessment of the newborn infant is an important tool to diagnose and classify intrauterine growth alterations, and to ensure adequate follow up of growth and nutrition. The assessment includes anthropometric variables, biochemical parameters and body composition evaluation. Due to limitation of laboratorial and body composition methods, the neonatal nutritional assessment is still established by anthropometric variables such as weight, length, brachial and head circumference, and skinfolds. The anthropometric relationships are also useful to describe the body proportionality. Amongst these relations, the most cited are: mid-arm circumference and head circumference ratio and height by weight index. The body mass index (BMI) has been used to assess growth proportionality in children and adults, but there are not reference values for neonates. CONCLUSIONS: Neonatal BMI charts would represent a complement in the neonatal nutritional evaluation and could provide a better comprehension of intrauterine growth and its variations.

Keywords : nutrition assessment; anthropometry; infant, newborn.

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