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WHO weighs your child?s growth

DOCTOR! MY child isn?t eating these days. Is he sick? Why do you worry? Take WHO?s weight-growth identifier and know it for yourself, the doctor replies. But, it?s not as easy as the doctor said. Child?s weight and growth have a sensitive relationship. If the weight doesn?t fit the standard count, the growth is suspect. Prof GK Malik of the Department of Paediatrics at King George?s Medical University says as per the new WHO standard a six-month old male child must weigh 7.9 kilograms while a female child weighs 7.3 kgs.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2006 00:01 IST

DOCTOR! MY child isn’t eating these days. Is he sick?

Why do you worry? Take WHO’s weight-growth identifier and know it for yourself, the doctor replies.

But, it’s not as easy as the doctor said. Child’s weight and growth have a sensitive relationship. If the weight doesn’t fit the standard count, the growth is suspect. 

Prof GK Malik of the Department of Paediatrics at King George’s Medical University says as per the new WHO standard a six-month old male child must weigh 7.9 kilograms while a female child weighs 7.3 kgs. A one-year old male child must weigh 9.6 kgs while a female child in same age group should weigh 8.9 kgs. Similarly, a 2-year old male child’ standard weight is 12.2 kgs while a female child can be as much as 11.5 kgs.

Prof Malik was the only Indian to participate in the workshop of child health experts from South East Asia region organised by WHO in Thailand on the issues related to child growth. The workshop was held in the first week of June.

If the weight deviates by a few grams, there is nothing to worry but if the variation is over half a kilogram, it means the child requires attention towards diet.

Earlier, the standards were made for bottle-fed kids. But that was not the usual practice in the developing countries. The new WHO standards, for the breastfed children, have been developed by using growth parameters including weight, height and bicep circumference, he told media persons on Wednesday.

The growth standards are important to learn about the proper growth pattern of the child. Any deviation from normal pattern reflects the defect in diet intake of the child.

The new standards are based upon the Multicentre Growth Reference Study, which was done simultaneously in six different countries, including Brazil, Norway, Ghana, Oman and India. The study was conducted for six years between 1997 and 2003. The standards were field tested in Argentina, Italy, Maldives and Pakistan before formally making them standards, Prof Malik said.