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Med Wieku Rozwoj. 2012 Jul-Sep;16(3):232-9.

[WHO child growth standards for children 0-5 years. Percentile charts of length/height, weight, body mass index and head circumference].

[Article in Polish]

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  • 1Zakład Biomedycznych i Psychologicznych Podstaw Edukacji, Wydział Pedagogiczny Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, ul. Mokotowska 16/20, 00-561 Warszawa.


The aim of this paper was to present the growth standards for children aged 0-5 years - which is a new tool for the assessment of health, growth and nutritional status recommended by WHO for use all over the world. These standards were elaborated in 2006 on the basis of the results of the WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study (a longitudinal and cross-sectional survey) carried out between 1997-2003 in Brazil, Ghana, India, Norway, Oman and the USA. An innovative approach to developing growth reference was applied. Healthy children living under conditions allowing them to achieve their full genetic potential were the sample of children under study. The results showed that the growth pattern of children in their early childhood in different countries, ethnic groups and of different socioeconomic status was the same when their health and care needs were met. The new standards indicate how children should grow in all countries, rather than merely describing how they grew at a particular place and time. The WHO Child Growth Standards for Children 0-5 years were adapted and used in over 100 countries. Activities designed to adapt WHO standards in Poland were undertaken in 2009. The comparison between the growth reference for Warsaw children and WHO standards showed no differences, or very small ones. Following discussion with the participation of many experts, in 2011 recommendations concerning the implementation of these standards were signed by the Committee of Human Development and the Committee of Anthropology of the Polish Academy of Science, the Main Board of the Polish Anthropological Society, the Institute of Mother and Child, and the Institute of Food and Nutrition. The percentile charts were adapted to the set of percentiles hitherto used in Poland.

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