Subjective Global Assessment (SGA) of Malnutrition

Handbook of Famine, Starvation, and Nutrient Deprivation. 2019 Mar 7; pp 643–663. doi:
Prasad, N., Sinha, A.


Malnutrition is a highly prevalent and well-recognized problem in hospitalized as well as in general population but often goes unrecognized. Nutrition assessment is a comprehensive approach to define nutritional status using various methods. Subjective Global Assessment (SGA) is one of the most commonly used methods to assess nutritional status. SGA is a semiquantitative tool to assess nutritional status based on the history and physical examination. Data are scored subjectively and determine nutritional status in three major SGA categories as well nourished (A), mild to moderately malnourished (B), or severely malnourished (C). It is simple, noninvasive, inexpensive, and quickly executable and can be performed bedside by any skilled and trained health-care professional after brief training. It also agreeably goes with the objective methods of evaluating nutritional status. Various modified versions of SGA have been proposed since its conception to improve its precision. It helps in identifying malnutrition, predicting outcomes, and making appropriate recommendations in hospitalized patients as well as in general population.

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Reference work for leading, current and selected literature in the field of clinical nutrition

Publications on clinical nutrition have grown steadily in recent years and the scientific evidence has been improved by numerous observational as well as intervention studies. Various umbrella organisations, such as the Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition (GESKES), the German Society for Nutritional Medicine (DGEM) or the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) publish guidelines on nutrition in various clinical situations at regular intervals. Thus, a large amount of literature is available for evidence-based nutritional medicine.

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List of abbreviations

DGEM German Society for Nutritional Medicine (German Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährungsmedizin)
GESKES  Swiss Society for Clinical Nutrition (German Gesellschaft für klinische Ernährung der Schweiz) 
ESPEN European Society of Clinicl Nutrition and Metabolism