The WHO is developing new growth standards for infants and young children
to help health workers make more accurate estimates of malnutrition. The hope
is that improved benchmarks will help identify children as soon as they begin
to show signs of becoming underweight or overweight, before the condition
becomes severe. The new standards will be linked not only to height and weight
but also to motor development assessments.
The project is needed because of inadequacies in the current international
reference, which fails to reflect physiological growth, said Mercedes de Onis,
MD, PhD, of the WHO's Department of Nutrition and Development.
Stephenson J. Child Growth Standards. JAMA. 2004;292(11):1294. doi:10.1001/jama.292.11.1294-d