Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) For Study Session 5

Now that you have completed the study session, you can assess how well you have achieved its Learning Outcomes by answering these questions. Write your answers in your Study Diary and discuss them with your Tutor at the next Study Support Meeting. You can check your answers with the Notes on the Self-Assessment Questions at the end of the Module.

SAQ 5.1 (tests Learning Outcome 5.1)

What is nutritional assessment used for? Name the different ways in which it can be carried out.


Nutritional assessment is used to determine whether a person or group of people is well nourished or malnourished (over-nourished or under-nourished). It involves the interpretation of anthropometric, biochemical (laboratory), clinical and/or dietary data.

SAQ 5.2 (tests Learning Outcomes 5.1 and 5.2)

What is the difference between an anthropometric index and an indicator?


An anthropometric index is a combination of two measurements (or a measurement and an age). An indicator is an index combined with cut-off values.

SAQ 5.3 (tests Learning Outcomes 5.2 and 5.3)

What kinds of things can be measured to make a nutritional assessment?


In order to make a nutritional assessment, you can measure height, weight, body mass or mid-upper arm circumference.

SAQ 5.4 (tests Learning Outcomes 5.3 and 5.4)

Describe some of the different methods you could use to determine whether a child is suffering from severe acute malnutrition.


In order to determine whether a child is suffering from acute malnutrition you can assess the following:

  • the weight of the child compared with reference child of the same height
  • whether the child is suffering from bilateral pitting oedema
  • the child’s MUAC
  • whether there are signs of severe wasting.

SAQ 5.5 (tests Learning Outcome 5.3)

What are the anthropometric indicators of moderate acute malnutrition in:

  1. Children
  2. Pregnant women


Indicators of moderate malnutrition in:

  1. Children: MUAC = 11–11.9cm
  2. Pregnant women: MUAC = 17 to 21cm OR 18 to 21cm with recent weight loss.

SAQ 5.6 (tests Learning Outcome 5.5)

What nutrient deficiency do the following clinical signs/symptoms indicate?

  • a.Pallor
  • b.Goitre
  • c.Bitot’s spots
  • d.Bilateral pitting oedema
  • e.Severe visible wasting


The following list shows the clinical signs/symptoms and the nutritional problems they indicate:

  • a.Pallor = anaemia
  • b.Goiter = iodine deficiency disorder
  • c.Bitot’s spots = vitamin A deficiency
  • d.Bilateral pitting oedema = severe acute malnutrition
  • e.Severe visible wasting = acute malnutrition

Summary of Study Session 5