Rationale for developing a new international growth reference

Food Nutr Bull. 2004 Mar;25(1 Suppl):S5-14. doi: 10.1177/15648265040251S102.


The rationale for developing a new international growth reference derived principally from a Working Group on infant growth established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990. It recommended an approach that described how children should grow rather than describing how children grow; that an international sampling frame be used to highlight the similarity in early childhood growth among diverse ethnic groups; that modern analytical methods be exploited; and that links among anthropometric assessments and functional outcomes be included to the fullest possible extent. Upgrading international growth references to resemble standards more closely will assist in monitoring and attaining a wide variety of international goals related to health and other aspects of social equity. In addition to providing scientifically robust tools, a new reference based on a global sample of children whose health needs are met will provide a useful advocacy tool to health-care providers and others with interests in promoting child health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Child
  • Child Development* / physiology
  • Child Welfare*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Global Health
  • Growth and Development
  • Health Promotion / standards
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Welfare*
  • Reference Standards
  • World Health Organization