This article aims to review systematically the evidence on nutritional assessment techniques and parameters used to determine the nutritional status of children and adolescents. The literature review and the selection of publications were performed using the Medline, Lilacs, SciELO, Embase, personal files. 17 studies were identified, 7 addressed the anthropometric indices as the main outcome, 7 analyzed the growth and development of children and adolescents through growth curves, and the remainder surveyed body composition. In general, all met the quality criteria, unless 6 of the articles who did not discuss the limitations. The literature review suggests several techniques and parameters that can be applied to determine the nutritional status of children and adolescents from different countries. Growth graphs are essential to assess the health of children, but depend greatly of the growth tables used. Although BMI can be practical, it does not distinguish body fat from lean mass. The best interpretation of anthropometry will depend of valid reference values for age range of the study population. BIA is a quick feasible method, but the measurement has some various nationalities.
Nutritional status; Children; Body composition