Comprehensive Report on 2000 Growth Charts Available

For Release: May 13, 2002

Contact: NCHS/CDC Public Affairs, (301) 458-4800


2000 CDC Growth Charts for the United States, Methods and Development. Series Report 11, Number 246. 201 pp. (PHS) 2001-1696. [PDF – 10 MB]

Researchers and clinicians now have an important new resource for assessment of growth and development of children and teenagers in the United States, with the publication of “2000 CDC Growth Charts for the United States: Methods and Development.” This comprehensive report details the methodology used in the development of the charts and includes new analytical and statistical presentations of the findings, expanding upon the initial release of the growth charts.

The 2000 CDC Growth Charts are used to assess and compare a child’s growth to a nationally representative reference population for clinical evaluations and research applications. The growth charts consist of a set of charts for infants, birth to 36 months of age and set of charts of children and adolescents from ages 2 to 20. The charts for infants include sex-specific smoothed percentile curves for weight-for-age, recumbent length-for-age, head circumference-for-age, weight-for-recumbent length, and body mass index (BMI)-for-age. The charts for children and adolescents include weight-for-age and stature-for-age.

The 2000 growth charts are a revised version of the 1977 growth charts and feature a number of improvements. The current charts are representative of the U.S. population and better reflect the Nation’s cultural and racial diversity. The 2000 charts now include an assessment for body mass index (BMI) used to evaluate an individual’s weight in relation to height, and that can serve as an early warning signal of children who are at risk of being overweight. In addition, the 2000 growth charts cover a longer age span.

The new report contains detailed statistical information not previously available, but is useful in the application and interpretation of the charts to individual results or data from selected study populations. The report includes the observed percentile distributions along with means and standard deviations shown by sex and age. Smoothed percentiles are shown for the 16 age- and sex-specific growth charts. There are also graphical comparisons between the 1977 and 2000 charts and a description of the process used to evaluate the 2000 version.

“2000 CDC Growth Charts for the United States: Methods and Development” is available on the CDC Web site to view and download at Data for the growth charts come from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. For more information on the survey, go to the NHANES Web site.

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