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CHPS Nutrition Core, Dietary Assessment (Penn/CHOP)

Directors: Compher, Charlene., RD, PhD, CNSC, LDN, FADA, FASPEN; Zemel, Babette., PhD


Nutrition plays a vital role in health at all ages. The Center of Human Phenomic Science (CHPS) offers a Bionutrition Research Unit (BRU) to facilitate and implement clinical and translational research services. Research dietitians assist investigators with research design, implementation, data collection and analysis in study protocols.

The Dietary Assessment Unit of the Nutrition Core provides a broad range of nutrition-related research services to investigators at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (PMC).





  • BodPod ( Plethysmograph )

    "The BOD POD Gold Standard Body Composition Tracking System is an air displacement plethysmograph which uses whole-body densitometry to determine body composition (fat and fat-free mass) in adults and children, and can accommodate a wide range of populations. A full test requires only about 5 minutes, and provides highly accurate, safe, comfortable, and fast test results. Each BOD POD Gold Standard is a complete turnkey system with a dedicated computer system, the ability to measure thoracic gas volume (TGV), and data management capabilities."

  • Parvo Medics' TrueOne® 2400 metabolic measurement system ( Metabolic cart )

    "Parvo Medics' TrueOne® 2400 is a compact, integrated metabolic measurement system for cardiopulmonary stress testing, indirect calorimetry, and maximal O2 consumption measurement. The complete system includes a Dell computer, Windows 7TM Professional, laser printer, high efficiency mixing chamber, metabolic measurement software, accessories, mobile cart and a compact analyzer module. "

  • RJL Quantum II bioelectrical impedance analyzer ( Impedance analyzer )

    "The Quantum II is an ideal choice for users who desire a BIA Analyzer that is compact and portable. The combined key features of the Quantum II and the accompanying BC software provide an easy-to-use, accurate and affordable system for revealing and monitoring changes in the composition of the human body. For more information on the software, click here.

    Many professionals in the health, fitness and nutrition fields find this system very useful when scale weight alone does not provide enough information to manage an overall health plan for individuals. With the Quantum II they have the ability to know when fat, fat-free mass, and fluids are lost or gained in order to improve body composition in relation to health and fitness management.

    After testing with the Quantum II Analyzer, the measurements are entered into the BC software which performs the body composition analysis. The end results can provide guidance for an individual to improve their body composition using the diet and exercise wizard in BC.

    For researchers, the Quantum II is designed to provide bioelectrical resistance and reactance measurements in a variety of populations. Extremely small changes in body composition can be illustrated due to the instrument's exceptional accuracy and repeatability. The results of testing with the Quantum II system can provide the user with a method to monitor and historically track body composition changes."


  • Body composition measurements ( Analysis service )

    The Nutrition Core provides Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA), body circumference measurements, and anthropometric measurements.

    BIA is carried out with the RJL Quantum II. The body composition report provides the ideal weight, actual BMI, actual phase, actual BMR, % actual fat, weight actual fat, weight actual BCM (body cell mass), weight minimum BCM, weight actual ECM (extracellular mass), weight maximum ECM, liters actual total body water, liters actual intracellular water and liters actual extracellular water.

    Available body composition tests include a Bod-Pod unit.

  • Calculated research meals for controlled studies ( Material processing service )

    "The metabolic kitchen can provide numerous services including:

    • Recipe development and modification
    • Food product design and production for study interventions
    • Calculation and serving of special research diets, including constant diets and regulated fluid intake"

  • Nutrition assessment and analysis service ( Data analysis service )

    The Nutrition Core provides many nutrition assessment and analysis services. Dietary intake can be evaluated with 24-hour recalls (on site and/or by phone) or with food records. Three days are generally recommended (2 weekdays and 1 weekend day) for food records. The Nutrition core can also help select the appropriate food frequency questionnaires, administer the questionnaires, and facilitate processing of completed questionnaires.

    Nutrient analysis is conducted with University of Minnesota Nutrition Data Systems (NDS-R), the gold standard for research nutrition assessment.

  • Nutrition data collection training ( Training service )

    Study Coordinator training for nutrition data collection

    Family and study subject training on proper methods for weighing and measuring food items for food recalls/records

  • Protocol consultation service ( Support service )

    "We can develop methodologies for research protocols including:

    • Metabolic/controlled nutrient diet plans
    • Monitoring plans during a controlled diet
    • Food frequency questionnaires, food records, and nutrition data collection forms
    • Special meals designed by protocol parameters
    • Duplicate, weighed meals for nutrient balance studies"

  • Protocol-specific nutrition education ( Support service )

    "We can provide customized nutritional counselling interventions for inpatient and outpatient research protocols."

  • Resting energy expenditure analysis ( Analysis service )

    Resting energy expenditure is measured by indirect calorimetry.


  • Food Processor ( Software )

    "The Food Processor nutrition and fitness software marries an extensive and meticulously-researched database with an uncluttered, easy-to-use interface for accurate, comprehensive nutrition analysis. For more than 25 years, dietitians, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals all over the world have trusted The Food Processor to help them assess their clients’ diet and fitness needs."

  • Nutrition Data System for Research ( Software )

    "Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR) is a Windows-based dietary analysis program designed for the collection and analyses of 24-hour dietary recalls, food records, menus, and recipes. Calculation of nutrients occurs immediately providing data per ingredient, food, meal, and day in report and analysis file formats. The software includes a dietary supplement assessment module so that nutrient intake from both food and supplemental sources may be captured and quantified."

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Last updated: 2020-10-14T15:15:11.307-04:00

Copyright © 2016 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College
The eagle-i Consortium is supported by NIH Grant #5U24RR029825-02 / Copyright 2016