What Growth Charts Are Recommended for Use?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that health care providers in primary care settings:
- Use the World Health Organization (WHO) growth standard charts for children aged birth to less than 2 years to monitor growth in the United States (Grummer-Strawn, Reinold, Krebs, 2010). The WHO growth charts are available at https://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/who_charts.htm.
- Use the CDC growth charts for children and teens aged 2 years to 20 years to monitor growth in the United States (Grummer-Strawn, Reinold, Krebs, 2010).
Training on the WHO growth charts to assess growth among infants and children ages birth to 2 years is available at https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/growthcharts/who/index.htm.
This training course focuses on the CDC clinical growth charts for children 2 years to 20 years of age. The four sex- and age-specific CDC clinical charts included in this training are:
- Children 2 to 20 years: Boys BMI-for-age pdf icon[PDF – 61 KB]
- Children 2 to 20 years: Boys Stature-for-age and Weight-for-age pdf icon[PDF – 77 KB]
- Children 2 to 20 years: Girls BMI-for-age pdf icon[PDF – 67 KB]
- Children 2 to 20 years: Girls Stature-for-age and Weight-for-age pdf icon[PDF – 77 KB]
CDC Growth Charts
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, extended to age 20 years and with the addition of the Body Mass Index (BMI)-for-age charts. BMI is an anthropometric index of weight and height that is defined as body weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared (Keys et al., 1972).
The CDC growth charts include the weight-for-age, stature-for-age, and the BMI-for-age charts for boys and girls aged 2 years to 20 years. The CDC recommends that the BMI-for-age charts be used to screen for underweight, overweight, and obesity for all children and teens aged 2 years to 20 years. The weight-for-age and stature-for-age charts are used to determine the pattern of weight and stature separately to aid in understanding the growth pattern observed on the BMI-for-age chart.
For more information on the 2000 CDC growth charts overall see https://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/cdc_charts.htm