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Can J Public Health. 2004 Nov-Dec;95(6):419-23.

Using routine growth monitoring data in tracking overweight prevalence in young children.

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Public Health Research and Development Program, London, ON.



Childhood obesity is a public health concern in Canada. Few anthropometrical data are available to monitor the obesity trend in young Canadian children. This study explored the feasibility of using routine growth monitoring data from physicians' offices for tracking the prevalence of obesity in children from two to six years of age in County of Middlesex and the City of London, Ontario.


Data on body weight and height were retrieved from the growth chart at each immunization visit and routine checkup in five medical centres in the Middlesex-London area. Postal code data were also collected as a proxy measure for socio-economic status. The BMI-for-age references by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States were used to classify the weight status of the children.


In total, 1,370 growth charts of children from two to six years of age were reviewed. Approximately 30% of young children were either at risk of being overweight or were overweight, with an onset as early as age two.


Overweight is prevalent in young children. Data from routine growth monitoring in primary health care settings have great potential to be used as a population-based data source to track the prevalence of obesity in young children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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