Menu ENN Search

Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) in the management of acute malnutrition

A briefing paper on body composition measurement by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) was published in 2018 by Action Against Hunger (AAH).1 The aim of the document is to describe the principles of BIA and to propose practical steps in collecting good quality BIA data, based on AAH’s operational experience in this area. The paper explains how body composition can provide insights into children’s health and shows great potential for improving the diagnosis of acute malnutrition and improving treatment effectiveness. BIA is a way to estimate body composition that is becoming easier to study since new methods have been developed, making the measurement quicker, easier and more reliable for field practitioners to perform in otherwise challenging settings. Because of its potential in providing important information on the true physiological status of malnourished children, body composition measurement should be systematically incorporated into research projects aiming to test the effectiveness of current or new diagnostics or treatment methods. Body composition data is also crucial in informing the long-term health of children, an area that deserves much more attention. Finally, among oedematous children, BIA measurements could provide insights on the distribution and extent of fluid imbalance and help optimise the treatment of this particularly vulnerable malnourished group.

While BIA is relatively simple to measure, it does require cooperation from the patient to remain calm and in a correct position, which is a challenge for young children. Particular attention and effort should be placed in standardising a quality scale for BIA measurement in order to obtain valid results, comparable across studies. Despite its great interest and added value in research settings, BIA remains a method that cannot be applied yet in field routine programmes. More simple, reliable and straightforward interpretation methods are needed in addition to population-specific and validated reference values.

For more information, click here.

Read more...

Endnotes

1Renault S, Kangas S, Dailey-Chwalibóg T and Salpéteur C. Moving beyond anthropometry : Conducting BIA to measure body composition of acutely malnourished children : lessons from operational research. Action Against Hunger, 2018.

More like this

FEX: Implementation of a field study of body composition among infants and young children in sub-Saharan Africa

By Ezekiel Mupere, John Mukisa, Lynnth Turyagyenda, Peace Aber, Luke S Uebelhoer, Celine Bourdon, Robert Bandsma, Emmanuel Chimwezi, Jonathan C Wells, Wieger Voskuijl, Judd L...

FEX: Assessing nutritional status in HIV positive adults

Summary of published research1 Humanitarian agencies are starting antiretroviral (ARV) programmes in a number of conflict settings. Many of the patients in these programmes are...

en-net: BMI

Any one can feed me on how BMI is important to detect the %s of malnutrition among adults elsewhere, given the fact that there are no interventions serving adults in...

FEX: Food assistance for nutrition: Evidence Summit

By Lindsey Green Ongoing food crises around the world underscore the need for effective food assistance (defined as in-kind food aid and/or cash and voucher programming). As...

en-net: Body composition to measure malnutrition

I would like to know your opinion about the feasibility of using body composition techniques to follow up a malnutrition treatment in the field I know there are different...

FEX: Measuring infants aged below 6 months: experience from the field

By Martha Mwangome and James Berkley Dr Martha Mwangome is a postdoc researcher at KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Collaborative Programme; Centre for Geographic Medical Research Coast,...

en-net: Does Low MUAC treated with RUTF result in children becoming obese?

Using MUAC to identify SAM cases tends to identify more younger and stunted children compared to WHZ. Concerns have been expressed that stunted children with low MUAC may...

FEX: Letter on WHO 2006 Growth Standards, by Marko Kerac and Andrew Seal

This new 2006 WHO Growth standards: What will they mean for emergency nutrition programmes? Dear Editor Whilst welcoming the principles which have driven the development of...

en-net: Reliability of MUAC in monitoring and Percentage of SAM cases developing complications.

1. How much MUAC is reliable to recruit and exit the case? With change of 1 to 2 mm the status of the case has been changed. If there are 3 measurers, there will be 3 different...

FEX: ComPAS trial in South Sudan and Kenya: Headline findings and experiences

By Bethany Marron, Pamela Onyo, Eunice N Musyoki, Susan Were Adongo and Jeanette Bailey Bethany Marron is a nutrition advisor and former ComPAS Research Coordinator at the...

en-net: Weight gain in SC, is it a performance indicators?

Previously we used to measure the weight gain in SC but since the consultancy of VALID we no longer take it into account as it is not for nutrition reason that the child have...

FEX: Improving community management of uncomplicated acute malnutrition in infants under six months (C-MAMI): Developing a checklist version of the C-MAMI tool

Summary of MSc project report1 By Sonja Read Sonja Read is a public health nutritionist from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has previously worked in...

FEX: The Measurement of Micronutrient Deficiencies - A Long Way to Go

Analysis of the micronutrient status of populations affected by natural and complex nutritional emergencies poses special problems. However, it is also widely regarded as being...

en-net: growth monitoring

Dear all, Years ago when I was involved in PEM in children in Tanzania I used to fill and then 'read' the growth chart of the child. Three colours, a dot to be plotted after...

FEX: Effect of Displacement on Growth of Children in Nigeria

Summary of published paper1 A recent religious/ethnic conflict in northern Nigeria provided a rare opportunity to investigate the effects of displacement on the growth and body...

FEX: MUAC versus weight-for-height debate in the Philippines

By Bernardette Cichon Bernardette is a Public Health Nutritionist who at the time of the work described in this article, worked with Action Contre la Faim (ACF). She is...

FEX: Assessment of agreement between a new electronic scale and mechanical suspended scale for measurement of children’s weight in Ethiopia

By Asrat Dibaba, Barbara Main and Mark Myatt Location: Ethiopia What we know already:Mechanical spring suspended scales are commonly used for measurement of weight in...

en-net: Steps to measure MUAC

Countries like Ethiopia is already introduced new method of MUAC measurement for extension health workers. it is just Estimating the midpoint of the left upper arm. the the old...

FEX: Postscript to: 'A pragmatic approach to managing severe malnutrition: Is F75 always beneficial?'

Michael Golden,Yvonne Grellety It is quite wrong to consider the advantage of F75 as "theoretical". However, a decreased mortality will not be seen if other aspects of faulty...

FEX: Effectiveness of food supplements in increasing fat-free tissue accretion in children with moderate acute malnutrition in Burkina Faso

Summary of research1 Location: Burkina Faso What we know: There is no consensus on the effectiveness of lipid-nutrient supplement (LNS) compared to corn-soy blend (CSB) in...

Close

Reference this page

Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) in the management of acute malnutrition. Field Exchange issue 60, July 2019. www.ennonline.net/fex/60/biaacutemalnutrition

(ENN_6367)

Close

Download to a citation manager

The below files can be imported into your preferred reference management tool, most tools will allow you to manually import the RIS file. Endnote may required a specific filter file to be used.