1. What Growth Charts Are Available?
The CDC Growth Charts, released in May 2000, consist of revised versions of the growth charts developed by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in 1977 and the addition of the new Body Mass Index (BMI)-for-age charts. CDC recommends that the BMI-for-age charts be used for all children 2 to 20 years of age in place of the weight-for-stature charts developed in 1977.
Because BMI has not commonly been used in the pediatric population, the weight-for-stature charts are included as an option for assessing children primarily between 2 and 5 years of age as pediatric health care providers make the transition to the BMI-for-age chart. The weight-for-stature charts can be used to plot stature from 77 to 121 centimeters. Between the ages of 24 and 36 months, clinicians may choose to measure recumbent length rather than stature (i.e., standing height), and plot it on the weight-for-length chart for infants from birth to 36 months. The method of choice for measuring a child (i.e., stature or length) determines the growth chart that will be used since length can not be plotted on the BMI-for-age chart and stature can not be plotted on the weight-for-length chart for infants birth to 36 months.
The 14 gender and age specific charts and 2 optional charts are listed below: