Evaluation of effectiveness of good growth monitoring in south Indian villages

Lancet. 1993 Aug 7;342(8867):348-52. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(93)91479-6.


We conducted a community intervention trial in 12 villages in Tamil Nadu, India to evaluate the benefits of growth monitoring. The villages were divided into 6 "growth-monitoring package" of intervention villages (GMP) and 6 "non-growth-monitoring package" of intervention villages (NGM). A functioning primary health care system was in place in all 12 villages implemented a set of interventions including health and nutritional education. About 550 children under the age of 60 months were studied over 4 years in GMP villages and a similar number of children in NGM villages. The interventions were identical in the two sets of villages except for the use of growth charts in education in the 6 GMP villages. The nutrition worker in the NGM villages had the same contact time as in the GMP villages but advised mothers without the benefit of growth charts. The research team, independently of the nutrition worker, did anthropometric studies on children in all villages every 4 to 5 months. Comparisons were done by calculating monthly gains in stature, and weight, and the significance of differences observed was adjusted for age and sex. After 30 months of interventions, similar improvements in growth were seen in GMP and NGM children. The interventions seemed to have improved the nutritional status of young children in both groups of villages. In view of the lack of additional benefit from growth monitoring over other educational interventions, we question its use as part of child survival programmes in India.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Child Health Services*
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Child, Preschool
  • Culture
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Growth*
  • Health Education
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Infant
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Nutritional Sciences / education
  • Population Surveillance
  • Primary Health Care
  • Records
  • Weight Gain