Assessing the Nutritional Status of the Elderly - State of the Art. Report of the Third Ross Roundtable on Medical Issues. Columbus, OH, Ross Laboratories, 1982. 47 pages.
This book consists of ten short research articles. Each article is followed with discussion by experts in the field related to the elderly. The book is directed to the physician, with a stated purpose to stimulate interest in nutritional assessment of the elderly.
Each of the articles is short but discusses broad aspects relating to nutrition of the elderly. Attention is given to nutritional standards of the elderly: definitions of normality, predictive values of test results, and availability of appropriate population data. Each article contains references and most have graphs or tables for illustration.
The strength of this book is that it points out that most nutritional "standards" are based on the young population and, therefore, not much is known about the elderly. Problems facing researchers are sample size, recall ability of the elderly, healthy vs. institutionalized populations, and knowledge of actual nutritional requirements.
The major weakness of this book is the apparent lack of providing the practitioner with assistance in nutritional assessment. For example, articles include measurement of plasma amino acids, and proteins, and creatinine height index in the elderly. These are complex measurements, which would be carried out in a research setting. Therefore, this book is recommended only for those interested in nutritional research.