Weight in relation to height furnishes, at present, the best single criterion of the state of a child's nutrition. The relation of weight for age has been entirely abandoned, except for the first three years of life, when it is almost as accurate as weight for height. Such a criterion is merely a guide, however, based on an average from a large number of children; how far a child may vary from the average and still not be malnourished must be determined ultimately by the judgment of the individual examiner, such judgment to be based on extensive experience and familiarity with both normal and malnourished children.
The studies of Baldwin and Wood and the tables computed from their studies have been the accepted guide in routine examinations for a long time. These studies are based on the measurements and weights of a large number of unselected school children, and it
ROYSTER LT, HULVEY CN. THE RELATIONS OF WEIGHT, HEIGHT AND AGE IN NEGRO CHILDREN. Am J Dis Child. 1929;38(6):1222–1230. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1929.01930120100009
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