World Health Organization growth charts for monitoring the growth of Australian children: time to begin the debate

J Paediatr Child Health. 2012 Feb;48(2):E84-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2011.02214.x. Epub 2011 Nov 3.


The recently released World Health Organization growth charts are methodologically robust, as well as clinically useful tools for monitoring the growth of children. They have been endorsed by premier organisations such as the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (UK), Canadian Pediatric Society, Australian Breastfeeding Association, United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition, International Union of Nutrition Sciences, International Pediatric Association and the European Childhood Obesity Group. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics have also recently endorsed these charts for the 0- to 24-month age group in USA. These growth charts have been adopted by many countries including Canada, UK and New Zealand. Nearly 140 countries are at various stages of implementing them. They offer significant advantages over the currently used CDC 2000 growth charts. They have the potential to contribute in reducing the worldwide incidence of obesity as well as under nutrition in children. Except Northern Territory, Australia continues to use the CDC 2000 growth charts. Paediatricians need to initiate and lead robust debate involving key stakeholders about the implementation of World Health Organization growth charts for monitoring the growth of Australian infants and children.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Australia
  • Body Height*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight*
  • Child
  • Child Welfare
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Growth Charts*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • New Zealand
  • World Health Organization
  • Young Adult