One central element of the IDEFICS and I.Family studies was the physical examination of the child including anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, heel ultrasonography and medical history. These examinations provided measurement data for central outcomes, like nutritional status, and were thus of high importance to the studies. For ease of survey logistics, the examinations were subdivided into two modules that could be performed independently from each other. For each of these measurements, a standard operating procedure was fixed in the General Survey Manuals that had to be followed by the local field staff in each survey centre.
The development of instruments, the baseline data collection and the first follow-up work as part of the IDEFICS study (www.idefics.eu) were financially supported by the European Commission within the Sixth RTD Framework Programme Contract No. 016181 (FOOD). The most recent follow-up including the development of new instruments and the adaptation of previously used instruments was conducted in the framework of the I.Family study (www.ifamilystudy.eu) which was funded by the European Commission within the Seventh RTD Framework Programme Contract No. 266044 (KBBE 2010–14).
We thank all families for participating in the extensive examinations of the IDEFICS and I.Family studies. We are also grateful for the support from school boards, headmasters and communities.
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