These two terms cannot really be defined separately since problems of nutrition and health co-exist in the community, where one influences the other. Therefore, general awareness has been provided by an elaboration of the concept of community nutrition.
Community health is concerned with the health problems of population groups lead inevitably to a broad range of interests, i.e., from the cause, prevention and control of diseases, nutritional or otherwise. Thus community health includes both identification of nutritional health and health problems and causes and prevention as well as control of diseases.
Community nutrition is the study of assessing food and nutrition situation in terms of identification of food and nutrition problems, causative factors and possible solutions both for prevention and cure of the problems.
It is nowadays important for everyone to realize, why community nutrition and health cannot be looked at separately and how they are interlinked with one another. Nutritional problems of a community are indicated by the nutritional status of the different groups of people in the community. The manifestations of under nutrition and malnutrition vary in type and degree from community to community through differences in food availability and consumption patterns.
Nutritional surveillance is another term which can be substituted for community nutrition. It could be said to describe the process of attempting to estimate the number of individuals in a population who are either suffering from inadequate nutrition in terms of type and degree. It should further be concerned with identifying the reasons for any malnutrition which may be discovered, and which individuals in a community are most vulnerable to its effects. Corrective and preventive measures can be then determined and steps taken to implement suitable action plans.