Thursday, June 08, 2000

Revised growth charts online

By Elizabeth Neus
Gannett News Service

        The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have created new pediatric growth charts more representative of the size of the average U.S. child, and they also include a new assessment of a child's body mass index (BMI).

        This will help pediatricians, nurses and nutritionists better monitor children's growth. The current growth charts have been around since 1977, and are the most widely used tools in the world to track growth and development in children.

        The newer ones are considered more accurate and can pick up signs of obesity as early as age 2. They also better reflect the nation's racial diversity and track people from childhood until the age of 20.

        The new charts are based on data collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the only survey that collects data based on the actual physical examination of Americans across the country.

        In general, children are heavier today than they were in 1977, but are about the same height.


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