Growth Charts

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body mass index: weight in kilograms divided by square of the height in meters times 100; a measure of body fat

Growth charts are used by pediatricians, dietitians, nurses, and parents to assess the growth of infants, children, and adolescents. In the United States, growth charts are created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and assess weight, height, and body mass index (BMI). Each chart consists of a series of percentile curves that are used to compare the body measurements of children to others their age and gender. For example, a five-year-old girl whose weight falls in the 25th percentile weighs the same as or more than 25 percent of other live-year-old girls—and less than 75 percent of other five-year-old girls.

Amy N. Marlow

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