Skip to main content

Introduction to anthropometry

(go to Outline)

  • Anthropometry is the most common technique used to assess the presence and degree of protein-energy malnutrition.
  • Anthropometry is the measurement of body parameters to indicate nutritional status.
  • Anthropometry can be used to measure an individual to determine if he or she needs nutrition intervention or it can be used to measure many individuals to determine if malnutrition is a problem in a population.

Some common anthropometric measurements include:

  • Height or length
  • Weight
  • Mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC)
  • Demi-span or arm span
  • Knee height
  • Sitting height
  • Skin fold thickness
  • Head circumference

Height (or length) and weight are the most common anthropometric measures used to indicate protein-energy nutritional status in emergencies.