Pediatric Growth Charts Include BMI
The pediatric growth charts were revised and issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in May 2000. They now include body mass index (BMI) charts, one for boys and one for girls aged 2 and up, to help practitioners assess whether a child is underweight, overweight, or at risk of overweight.
The interactive web-based training modules are aimed at pediatric health care professionals, including nutritionists, dietitians, nurses, and pediatricians to provide expertise in using and interpreting the 2000 growth charts. Module topics include an Overview of the CDC Growth Charts, Using the BMI-for-age Growth Charts, and Overweight Children and Adolescents: Recommendations to Screen, Assess and Manage. Other growth chart-related modules developed by the Health Resources Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau can also be accessed at the site.
The revised growth charts reflect new data gathered through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and analyzed using improved statistical procedures. Originally developed in 1977, the charts track growth and development in children based on selected body measurements. The enhanced charts track children and young people through age 20, and more accurately reflect the Nation's cultural and racial diversity.
BMI, an evaluation of a person's weight status in relation to height, is the most commonly used approach to determine if adults are overweight or obese, and is now the recommended measure for assessing overweight in children. In light of the fact that many overweight adults first encountered weight problems in childhood, the new BMI charts for children represent an opportunity for early intervention.
"The BMI is an early warning signal that is helpful as early as age 2," said former Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala. "This means that parents have an opportunity to change their children's eating habits before a weight problem ever develops."
For more information, call the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (301) 458-04636, and visit the web site at