Summary of Screening tools

Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire (SNAQ) screening tools

To get an insight into  patients’ nutritional status we have developed a series of quick and easy-to-use screening tools:

  • SNAQ:  for hospitalized patients
  • SNAQRC: for the elderly in care homes or residential care
  • SNAQ65+: for patients in the community who are aged 65 and over

(SNAQ = Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire)

The SNAQ screening tools are available in 6 different languages:


SNAQ 65+


Our instruments are not diagnostic tools; patients identified as being at risk of malnutrition require further and more detailed assessment.

For screening potential malnutrition in hospitalized children, we use STRONGkids (Hulst et al, 2010)

Strengths of the SNAQ screening tools

The philosophy behind these tools is to make nutritional screening as easy as possible

  • The tool can be used by untrained personnel
  • The tool does not need any equipment e.g. a scale or stadiometer
  • The tool does not need the user to perform any calculations
  • Screening a patient takes less than 5 minutes
  • The results of screening lead into a treatment plan

Validation studies

Our SNAQ tools have been validated in their respective target populations. The literature describing the development and validation of the tools can be found her:

We have also developed multidisciplinary guidelines that describe the responsibilities of dietitians, nurses, medical doctors and diet aides in the treatment of patients at nutritional risk. These can be found in the subsections of this website.

Other screening tools

General measurements

General measurements used to obtain a picture of nutrition status are weight, height and/or Body Mass Index (BMI), weight loss over time and loss of appetite/reduced food intake.

Frequently used risk factors for malnutrition are:

  • Involuntary weight loss (more than 5% over the last month or more than 10% over the last six months)
  • BMI less than 18.5 for adults (< 65 years of age) and less than 20 for elderly ( 65y)
  • Decreased appetite or reduced food intake

Other screening tools

There is a variety of other validated screening tools. In Europe, the following are the most widely used: