The 2014 Danish references from birth to 20 years for height, weight and body mass index

Acta Paediatr. 2014 Feb;103(2):214-24. doi: 10.1111/apa.12468. Epub 2013 Dec 3.


Aim: To construct new Danish growth charts for 0- to 20-year-olds and to compare them with Danish references from 1982 and with World Health Organization (WHO) standards for children aged 0-5 years from 2006, by applying similar inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Methods: Anthropometric data from three contemporary Danish population-based studies were combined. References for height were based on healthy Caucasian children born at term. A total of 12,671 height measurements (8055 in boys and 4616 in girls) were included. Reference charts were developed using the generalised additive models for location, scale and shape.

Results: From prepubertal ages, a secular increase in height was observed for both genders. The differences were most pronounced in puberty, and final heights were increased by 1.4 cm in boys and 2.9 cm in girls compared to 1982 references. In boys, but not girls an upward shift in body mass index (BMI) above median levels was found. Reference curves for height were superimposable with standard curves based on the selective WHO criteria. Danish children were longer/taller and heavier and they had larger head circumferences than those reported in the recent multiethnic WHO standards.

Conclusion: We recommend national implementation of these contemporary 2014 Danish references for anthropometric measurements.

Keywords: Child; Growth charts; Height; Weight.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Height*
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Body Weight*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Growth Charts*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Young Adult