Nutritional Disorders Telehealth Network Project

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Growth Charts

Growth charts are an important tool for determining whether a child is at risk for nutritional problems.  Growth charts are used to plot a child's height-to-weight ratio and/or body mass index (BMI) for their age to determine if they are within a healthy developmental range.  A child's growth can be significantly increased or decreased based on the child's nutritional intake, and children whose BMIs fall within the lowest and highest percentiles for their age are considered most at risk for nutritional disorders.

Instructions for Using Growth Charts

  1. Obtain accurate measurements for both the child's height and weight.
  2. Calculate the child's BMI. Click here for link to CDC BMI Calculator
  3. Select the most appropriate growth chart for the child's age.
  4. Plot the child's measurements.
    • Age is plotted along the horizontal axis - use a straight-edge to draw a vertical line up through that point.
    • Weight and BMI are plotted along the vertical axis - use a straight-edge to draw a horizontal line across through that point.
    • Make a dot where the two lines intersect. 
  5. Interpret the measurements. 
    • If a child is below the 5th percentile, they may be at risk for undernutrition.
    • If a child is above the 85th percentile, they may be at risk for overnutrition.
    • When a child falls into an at-risk category for a nutritional disorder, further assessment is recommended.  The Secondary Screener should be used as a follow-up assessment for nutritional risk.   

CDC Growth Charts

Female
0-36 Months: Head-Circumference-for-Age and Weight-for-Length Percentiles (.pdf)
0-36 Months: Length-for-Age and Weight-for-Age Percentiles (.pdf)

2-20 Years: Body Mass Index-for-Age Percentiles (.pdf)
2-20 Years: Stature-for-Age and Weight-for-Age Percentiles (.pdf)

Male
0-36 Months: Head-Circumference-for-Age and Weight-for-Length Percentiles (.pdf)
0-36 Months: Length-for-Age and Weight-for-Age Percentiles (.pdf)

2-20 Years: Body Mass Index-for-Age Percentiles (.pdf)
2-20 Years: Stature-for-Age and Weight-for-Age Percentiles (.pdf)

 

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Page Updated 04/15/2014