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Overview of the CDC Growth Charts

The CDC Growth Chart Reference Population
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5. The CDC Growth Chart Reference Population

The reference population used to construct the CDC Growth Charts for children aged 2 years to 20 years is a nationally representative sample.

  Bullet Data Used to Create the Growth Charts
Bullet Child and Adolescent Data in the CDC Growth Chart Reference

Data used to create the growth charts for children and teens aged 2 years to 20 years were nationally representative and obtained from 5 national survey data sets (Kuczmarski et al., 2000).

Data for the CDC Growth Charts included:

Bullet physical measurements of height (also referred to as stature) and weight from children and teens 2 years to 20 years of age.

The measurement data were obtained from a series of national health examination surveys conducted by NCHS from 1963 to 1994. These surveys and data sources included:

Bullet National Health Examination Survey (NHES), Cycle II (1963-65; ages 6-11y)
Bullet National Health Examination Survey (NHES), Cycle III (1966-70; ages 12-17y)
Bullet National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) I (1971-74; ages 2-19 y)

Bullet National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) II (1976-80; ages 2-19 y)
Bullet National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III (1988-94; ages 2-19 y for stature, ages 2-5 y for weight and BMI)

In each of the cross-sectional surveys, a national probability sample of the civilian, non-institutionalized population of the United States was examined. Survey-specific sample weights were applied to the national survey sample data to assure representation of the U.S. population according to age, gender, and racial/ethnic composition at the time the surveys were conducted.

Read about race/ethnicity of the reference population


Bullet EXCLUSIONS FROM THE GROWTH REFERENCE POPULATION
Bullet NHANES III Weight Data for Children Aged 6 Years and Older

These data were excluded to avoid the upward shift in the weight-for-age and BMI-for-age curves given the secular change in body weight that occurred in the 1980s and 1990s (Kuczmarski et al., 2002).

Read more about the prevalence of obesity in NHANES III

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