Obesity - New Pediatric Growth Charts
New Pediatric Growth Charts - Weight Measurements
US Dept of Health and Human Services has released new CDC pediatric growth charts that are not only updated and more representative of the U.S. population, but which will now include a new assessment for body mass index (BMI-for-age).
This key tool will help identify weight problems early on in children. These growth charts will be used by pediatricians, nurses, and nutritionists to monitor children's growth.
Most parents are familiar with the original growth charts used by pediatric health care providers since 1977 and adopted by the World Health Organization for international use since 1978. In fact, they are the most widely used tools to track growth and development in children and assist in signaling potential developmental problems. The charts consist of a series of curves called "percentiles" that illustrate the distribution in growth of children across the United States.
The new BMI measure increases the usefulness of this tool significantly.
CDC's new charts are based on data gathered through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the only survey that collects data from actual physical examinations on a cross-section of Americans from all over the country.
This survey showed that in the past two decades the number of overweight children and adolescents has doubled.
Additionally, it showed that over one-half of all American adults are overweight and that the number of obese adults has doubled. Health care providers hope that the new BMI charts will help address this nationwide problem. The growth charts indicate that, in general, children are heavier today than in 1977, but height has remained virtually unchanged.
SOURCE: National Center for Health and Statistics, 2001
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