Taking a nutrition history: a practical approach for family physicians.Am Fam Physician. 1999 Mar 15; 59(6):1521-8, 1531-2.AF
The association between nutrition and health has been clearly documented. Primary care physicians are expected to address nutrition and dietary behavior issues with their patients in the context of a brief clinical encounter. This article proposes the use of a short interview form, with specific suggestions for behavior changes that family physicians can use to help their patients meet currently accepted dietary guidelines. Answers to the questions on the interview form provide the physician with an overall sense of the patient's daily eating habits and help to identify major sources of saturated fat in the patient's diet. The patient is asked about the number of meals and snacks eaten in a 24-hour period, dining-out habits and frequency of consumption of fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, dairy products and desserts. Documentation of dietary changes can be accomplished using the suggested nutrition history form, and improvements in nutritional status can be measured using weight, blood pressure and laboratory test data.