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Gary Hewitt

They've finally posted the underlying data for the WHO charts. (I say finally; I last looked when my children were closer to 2 years old, a decade ago). http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/who_charts.htm

This site also has some interesting commentary on the different bases behind the WHO charts (which are explicitly intended to be normative) and the CDC charts (which are descriptive of some white, bottle-fed Ohio children as I recall). Full desription here http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5909a1.htm

In any event. I always thought it was difficult to use these charts becuase of the enormous amount of error inherent in the measurements for an individual child. Look at the difference between 25th and 50th, or 50th and 75th percentile for under-1-year-old children - it ranges from about .5 to .65 kg or so. That's roughly the difference between a child with a full stomach and empty diaper (heavy) and a child with a full diaper (or thrown away diaper) and empty stomach. Meaning a child can move 20 or 30 percentile points just by doing its daily business.


This is a particular problem given the obsessiveness of first time parents with where their child is. [pleading guilty myself]

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