Comparison of the WHO Child Growth Standards and The NCHS for Estimation Malnutrition in Birjand-Iran

Kokab Namakin, Gholamreza Sharifzadeh, Mahmoud Zardast, Zynab Khoshmohabat, Mahsa Saboori


Background: Anthropometric indices are widely used to assess the health and nutritional status of children The aim of the present study was determination of malnutrition and compare estimates of under nutrition among young children under 2 years of age from Birjand city of Iran using WHO growth standard and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) references.

Methods: The cross‑sectional descriptive study conducted on 822 children under 2 years of age mean z scores for weight‑for‑age and height‑for‑age and prevalence underweight, stunting and wasting were calculated using the new WHO growth standards and compared with NCHS references.

Results: Compared with NCHS reference, the mean height for age were lower and mean weight for age scores were almost similar using the WHO standards. Prevalence underweight, stunting, and wasting using WHO standards were 5.2-8.2% and 1.9%, respectively, compared to 6.5-37.3% and 1% based on the NCHS references.

Conclusions: Using WHO standards resulted differences in mean z score for height for age and changes in prevalence of stunting compared with NCHS references in Birjand city children.

Keywords: Birjand, children, stunting, underweight, wasting, WHO growth standards

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