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UN child study says first five years crucial

Children?s growth is influenced more by environmental factors than genetics up to the age of five, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday.

education Updated: Apr 28, 2006 12:49 IST

Children’s growth is influenced more by environmental factors than genetics up to the age of five, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday. The United Nations agency found that, despite differences among individual children, the average potential size of youngsters worldwide lies in a narrow range.

“Differences in children’s growth till the age of five are more influenced by nutrition, feeding practices, environment, and healthcare than genetics or ethnicity,” the WHO said.

To compile the global study, researchers tracked more than 8,000 children in Brazil, Ghana, India, Norway, Oman, and the United States from birth to age five.

The study includes six key motor development milestones for activities like sitting, standing and walking. It also includes six key motor development milestones for activities like sitting, standing and walking.