The WHO Growth Curves and US Infants



There are pros and cons for the adoption of the WHO 2006 Growth Charts in the United States, though the American Academy of Pediatrics supports their use for children during the first 2 years of life. Infants included in the CDC 2000 charts received significantly more infant formula (including the period after weaning from the breast) than the infants used to generate the WHO 2006 charts, though initiation rates and duration of breast-feeding in the United States have increased in the last 10 years. A direct comparison between the CDC 2000 and WHO 2006 charts for 0–2 years of age for the prevalence of overweight and shortness is minimized if the recommended CDC and WHO cut points for overweight and shortness are used on their respective growth charts. However, the prevalence for underweight using low weight-for-age is notably lower using the WHO 2006 charts compared to the CDC 2000 charts. There are no advantages to using the WHO 2006 cross-sectional charts from 2 to 5 years of age in US infants, as the CDC 2000 charts compare favorably between 2 and 5 years of age and extend up to age 20 years.


World Health Organization Infant Formula Growth Chart Complementary Food Special Supplemental Nutrition Program 
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


World Health Organization


Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics and NutritionUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.The Center for Perinatal Care, Meriter HospitalMadisonUSA

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