"Measuring up" - leading health groups recommend WHO Growth Charts to track
babies' and children's growth

TORONTO, Feb. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Four leading national health professional associations have collectively recommended the adoption of the World Health Organization (WHO) Growth Charts for monitoring the growth of Canadian children in all primary health care and clinical settings. The Collaborative Statement - Promoting Optimal Monitoring of Child Growth in Canada - Using the New World Health Organization (WHO) Growth Charts - is supported by Dietitians of Canada (DC), Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS), The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) and Community Health Nurses of Canada (CHNC). The statement is an update to an earlier version released in 2004 that supported the use of growth charts developed by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Advantages of the WHO charts include:

    -   The WHO Growth Standards for children 0-5 years of age are based on a
        population of infants and children nurtured under optimal health
        conditions, including breastfeeding for at least four to six months.
        These charts show how children should grow rather than how they do
    -   The WHO charts address the growth of a multi-ethnic international
        population and are therefore reflective of our Canadian ethnic
    -   The WHO Growth Reference 2007 recommended for older children (5 to
        19 years) are a better tool for identifying children at risk for

Says Dr. Donna Secker, author of the Collaborative Statement and Clinical Dietitian at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, "The way a child grows says a lot about his or her health. Growing too quickly or too slowly can be a sign of possible problems with health or nutrition. The use of standardized methods and tools by health care providers to monitor growth is one way to help identify problems early so that appropriate action can be taken to prevent serious problems with growth and development."

For a copy of the complete collaborative statement and executive summary Promoting Optimal Monitoring of Child Growth in Canada: Using the New World Heath Organization (WHO) Growth Charts and health professional and parent education tools visit www.dietitians.ca/growthcharts.

Publicly available February 8, 2010. Embargoed copies available upon request from February 3-5, 2010.


For further information: For further information: For Dietitians of Canada: Lynda Corby, MSc, MEd, RD, FDC, Director Public Affairs, (250) 386-0006; For Community Health Nurses of Canada: Cheryl Armistead, RN, MScN, (514) 398-8221; For Canadian Paediatric Society: Emma Wadland, Communications Coordinator, (613) 526-9397 Ext 247; For The College of Family Physicians of Canada: Jayne Johnston, Communications Manager, (905) 629-0900 Ext 303, jjohnston@cfpc.ca

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