Nutritional screening tools for malnutrition in pediatrics

Gal Rub, Luba Marderfeld, Raanan Shamir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Malnutrition in pediatrics remains a cause for concern due to its considerably high prevalence and deleterious effects on growth, development, and overall health. Early identification of malnutrition risk may prevent nutritional deterioration during hospitalization. There are currently a number of suggested screening tools for use in pediatrics; however, there is no consensus on a single tool that is favorable over others. Thus selection of a screening tool for implementation is perplexing. Presented here is an overview of the screening tools available for use in pediatrics and further actions needed in order to implement the use of screening tools in different settings in pediatrics. Seven screening tools that are intended for use upon admission to the hospital were identified. Two screening tools were designed for specific medical conditions. One screening tool was designed for sole use in ambulatory settings. Of the seven tools identified for use upon hospital admission, some tools were also validated for use in specific medical conditions and one tool was also validated for use in ambulatory settings. Comparison between screening tools failed to offer one tool favorable to others. A model for implementation of nutritional screening in pediatrics in terms of policy change is suggested. In conclusion, there is currently no single nutritional screening tool that is superior to others. When selecting a screening tool, one should consider the setting in which screening will take place, in terms of purposes and applications. Governments and healthcare providers should promote implementation of nutritional screening in pediatrics in all healthcare facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Famine, Starvation, and Nutrient Deprivation
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Biology to Policy
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783319553870
ISBN (Print)9783319553863
StatePublished - 6 Mar 2019


  • Children
  • Hospitalization
  • Malnutrition
  • Malnutrition risk
  • Nutritional assessment
  • Nutritional screening
  • Nutritional status
  • Pediatrics
  • Screening tools
  • Undernutrition


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