6. Using the CDC Growth Charts
Prevalence of Nutritional Status Indicators: Comparison of the New Reference Curves with the 1977 Reference Curves Using NHANES III Data
To look at
the impact that the new reference has on the prevalence of nutritional
status indicators including overweight, underweight, and shortness, NHANES
III data were used to compare the 1977 reference (old) with the 2000
reference (new). The following table summarizes the comparisons and shows
that there are only slight differences in the prevalence rates of specific
indicators when using the new versus the old reference. The greatest
difference is found in the prevalence of underweight in 2 to 5 year-old
girls and boys.
Summary: Impact of the New Reference on the Prevalence of Nutritional Status Indicators
Overweight: for children < 2 years old: weight-for-length >95th
percentile; for children 2-19 years: BMI-for-age > 95th percentile for
the new reference and weight-for-height > 95th percentile for the old
The CDC 2000 growth charts provide health care providers and researchers with an improved tool to assess the growth of infants, children and adolescents up to 20 years of age.
CDC promotes one set of growth charts for all racial and ethnic groups.
The CDC growth charts can be used for both breast and formula fed infants because the growth charts represent the combined growth pattern of breast and formula fed infants. The growth of exclusively breastfed infants must be interpreted with caution because they have different growth patterns than formula fed infants.
The CDC growth charts can be used to assess the growth of both LBW and
VLBW infants. However, because VLBW infants were excluded from the
reference population gestation-adjusted age must be calculated and their
growth pattern must be interpreted with caution because they have
different patterns of growth than infants with higher birth weight. An
additional option is to use the IHDP growth charts to assess growth of