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Pediatrics. 2017 Mar;139(3). pii: e20163374. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-3374. Epub 2017 Feb 17.

Trends in Anthropometric Measures Among US Children 6 to 23 Months, 1976-2014.

Author information

1
National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland; and lea8@cdc.gov.
2
United States Public Health Service, Rockville, Maryland.
3
National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland; and.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

The surveillance of children's growth reflects a population's nutritional status and risk for adverse outcomes. This study aimed to describe trends in length-for-age, weight-for-age, weight-for-length, and early childhood weight gain among US children aged 6 to 23 months.

METHODS:

We analyzed NHANES data from 1976-1980, 1988-1994, 1999-2002, 2003-2006, 2007-2010, and 2011-2014. We estimated z scores < -2 (low) and ≥+2 (high) in comparison with World Health Organization growth standards for each indicator. Weight gain (relative to sex-age-specific medians) from birth until survey participation was estimated. Trends were assessed by low birth weight status and race/Hispanic origin. Race/Hispanic origin trends were assessed from 1988-1994 to 2011-2014.

RESULTS:

In 2011-2014, the prevalence of low and high length-for-age was 3.3% (SE, 0.8) and 3.7% (SE, 0.8); weight-for-age was 0.6% (SE, 0.3) and 7.0% (SE, 1.1); and weight-for-length was 1.0% (SE, 0.4) and 7.7% (SE, 1.2). The only significant trend was a decrease in high length-for-age (5.5% in 1976-1980 vs 3.7% in 2011-2014; P = .04). Relative weight gain between birth and survey participation did not differ over time, although trends differed by race/Hispanic origin. Non-Hispanic black children gained more weight between birth and survey participation in 2011-2014 versus 1988-1994, versus no change among other groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Between 1976-1980 and 2011-2014, there were no significant trends in low or high weight-for-age and weight-for-length among 6- to 23-month-old children whereas the percent with high length-for-age decreased. A significant trend in relative weight gain between birth and survey participation was observed among non-Hispanic black children.

PMID:
28213608
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2016-3374
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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