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Overview of the CDC Growth Charts

Using the CDC Growth Charts
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6. Using the CDC Growth Charts

Anthropometric Indices

Weight and height (also referred to as stature), are commonly used to assess size and growth of children and teens aged 2 years to 20 years. When weight or height is combined with age the result is an anthropometric index (for example, stature-for-age). The 2000 CDC Growth Charts that are recommended for use in children and teens aged 2 years to 20 years reflect three anthropometric indices that are gender specific.


BMI-for-age is an anthropometric index of weight and height combined with age. BMI-for-age is used to classify children and teens as underweight, overweight, or obese.


Stature-for-age describes linear growth relative to age. Stature- or length-for-age is used to define shortness or tallness.


Weight-for-age reflects body weight relative to age and is influenced by recent changes in health or nutritional status. It is not used to classify children and teens as under or overweight. However, it is important to help explain changes in BMI-for-age in older children.

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