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April 14, 1975

Assessment of Nutritional Status

Author Affiliations

School of Public Health University of California Los Angeles

JAMA. 1975;232(2):134. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03250020012006

To the Editor.—  The recent article by Dr. Bruce Bistrian et al (230:858, 1974) and the editorial by Dr. Butterworth (230:879, 1974) were of considerable interest to us. In brief, because the nutritional situation is so much worse and because resources are in all ways inadequate, the assessment of nutritional status using lowcost, simple methods has been tried out in less-developed countries for years.The arm muscle circumference measurement was first used as a community indicator of protein-calorie malnutrition in a nationwide survey in the Republic of Haiti in 1958 (Acta Trop 18:1, 1961). Since then, it has been used widely in many different parts of the world and has the advantage of being a reliable method of screening in preschool children, even when the precise age is not known, as is the case in most of the world (J Trop Pediatr 15:177, 1969).In addition, investigations have shown that