The possibility of marginal malnutrition in so-called normal persons has been a subject of increasing interest in recent years. When malnutrition has reached the point where definite deficiency disease or marked wasting and dehydration have developed, the diagnosis is easy. In the prodromal states, however, no method has been presented whereby malnutrition can be determined except from the history or by the rather complex quantitative analysis for vitamins or other factors, i. e., procedures which are not very specific and which present technical difficulties to the practicing physician.
The diagnosis of developing malnutrition is an important one, especially in the case of the nervous type of patient, because malnutrition produces easy fatigability which, in turn, increases the severity of the subjective symptoms, such as nervous tension and irritability. An exact diagnostic procedure would be of great benefit not only in dealing with patients of the nervous type but in the