Assessing a Patient's Nutritional History

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Food Allergies & Food Intolerance: Types & Symptoms

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 Nutritional History
  • 0:49 24-Hour Recall
  • 1:43 Food Diary
  • 2:57 FFQ
  • 4:13 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Proper nutrition plays an important role in the health of a person. Learn about different methods health care providers can use to assess a patient's nutritional history, including 24-hour recall, food diaries and food frequency questionnaires.

Nutritional History

When you drive your car to the gas station for a fill up, you choose the quality of gas you will put in the tank. The highest quality fuel will make your car run well and help prevent engine problems. Like your car, your body runs best when it gets the best fuel.

Good nutrition is important to your general well-being and can prevent many health problems, ranging from fatigue and headaches to diabetes and heart disease. Therefore, health care professionals should routinely assess a patient's dietary intake as part of the general health history taking process. In this lesson, you will learn about different methods used to assess a patient's nutritional history.

24-Hour Recall

What did you eat yesterday? This is the central question explored with a dietary assessment tool known as the 24-hour recall. This is a method of assessing nutrient intake in which a person recounts all the foods, beverages and supplements consumed over the past day. This requires some brain power by the patient, who might not be expecting this type of evaluation; however, the advantage of using a 24-hour recall is that it's easy to obtain. The provider can perform the evaluation at the time of the office visit and only needs to record one day worth of data.

The disadvantage is that this method is limited to one day. If the patient was at a party or went out to eat the day before the assessment, then that day might not be a good representation of their typical food intake.

Food Diary

If a bigger picture of a patient's diet is needed, a health care provider might utilize a food diary, which is also referred to as a food journal or food log. This is a method of assessing nutrient intake in which a person records their food, beverage and supplement intake over a period of time. There are advantages that come with the use of a food diary. For instance, because the patient can record their data soon after consumption, food diaries tend to be more accurate than other methods.

Another advantage is that a food diary can be entered into a computerized system. The computer program can provide objective and in-depth analysis. For example, a computer program can break down the foods and beverages into their nutrient components. This provides the health care professional with data concerning the person's average calorie, fat, protein, carbohydrate and vitamin intake. Of course, no method is free of drawbacks. One notable disadvantage of a food diary is that patients know their diet will be analyzed. Therefore, they might consciously or subconsciously under-report poor food choices.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account