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Collecting data for health assessment
By: Wanda Agnew, PhD, LD-LRD, Nutrition and Foodservice Instructor
26 November 2013

      At UTTC's Health and Wellness Fair, October 17, eight students in UTTC's Nutrition Through the Lifecycle class practiced gathering and assessing adult heights and weights.

      Health professionals typically gather these readings during health or wellness assessment opportunities. Weight, by itself, if gathered on a regular basis, is an indicator of health or health risk.

Collecting health data, from left, students Amber Cleveland-Redman and Stephanie Bridwell, instructor Wanda Agnew and student Carmela Vital-Maulson.
DENNIS J. NEUMANN<>United Tribes News

      One of the first things newborn babies experience is a recording of their birth weight. These records and assessments are lifelong reminders that people are unique.

      During the Wellness Fair the students were trained to use professional techniques for accuracy and confidentiality in the least intimidating manner.

      Participants were asked to remove heavy clothing and shoes and follow the three points for accuracy procedure: placing heels, rear, and shoulders against the wall for height measures.

      The scale was a highly accurate electronic institutional scale. The policy of never saying a client's height and weight numbers aloud, where others might hear, was also practiced in respect of privacy.

      Students converted participant numbers into Body Mass Index (BMI) and shared the assessment connecting BMI to general health risk.


      There are two BMI standards: one for children using a growth chart and one for adults using a graph or equation. BMI is unique for each person. Although muscle mass may alter outcome, BMI is reflective of health risk.

      Recently, BMI has helped physicians, registered nurses and dietitians assess, diagnose and educate about the disease of obesity, which is defined as a BMI over 30.

      Students believed the project was a good learning experience. They said they were surprised about participant reaction and now recognize the need for privacy and best practice procedures.

      For more information regarding BMI, your child's growth curve, BMI connection to health risk, or generally feeling good about your unique body size, call x 1399 to connect with one of UTTC's Extension Nutrition Educators.


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