Nutrition Assessment Unit

The Nutrition Assessment Unit is a state-of-the-art facility for the assessment of growth and body dimensions, body composition (the amount of muscle, fat and bone in the body), energy expenditure, bone density, and muscle strength throughout the lifespan. The Unit has locations at CHOP Main 7 Northwest Tower and 3550 Market St. and experienced research technicians for performing nutrition assessments.

  • Anthropometry: Stature/recumbent length, weight, skinfold thickness measures, circumferences, and segmental measures (such a forearm length)
  • Anthropometry: Knee height measuring device for short term growth assessment
  • Body Composition: Multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (whole body or body segments)
  • Body Composition: Infant body composition by PeaPod air displacement plethysmography
  • Body Composition: DXA Whole Body scan for total and regional fat mass, lean mass, bone mass and percent body fat, and visceral adipose tissue area
  • Bone Density: DXA scans of AP spine, lateral spine, right or left hip (proximal femur), forearm, lateral distal femur
  • Bone DXA VFA: Vertebral fracture assessment by DXA
  • Bone pQCT: Peripheral quantitative computed tomography of the radius and/or tibia (indicate number of slices) for trabecular and/or cortical volumetric bone mineral density, cortical geometry, cross-sectional muscle area and fat area.
  • Resting Energy Expenditure Resting (awake in children and adults) or sleeping (infants) energy expenditure
  • Muscle Strength: Hand grip dynamometer
  • Muscle Strength: Biodex measures of muscle strength in plantar/dorsi flexion (ankle) or knee extension
  • Muscle Strength: Force plate (jump mechanography) to measure power, jump height and ground reaction forces.
  • Pregnancy Test: Required prior to bone imaging
  • Tanner Staging: By self-assessment questionnaire in private room with mirror


Babette Zemel, PhD
Nutrition Core Director

Eileen Ford
Program Coordinator

Gail Jackson
Senior Technician