Department of Nutrition
Dates of Research:
November 15, 2001 — November 15, 2004
Growth references provide a tool for effective caring and health management of infants and children. A new international growth reference chart will improve the nutritional management of infants and a new reference chart is being developed based on children who are fed according to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, which entail exclusive breast-feeding for the first 4-6 months of life. The assumption is that changing to a new reference that reflects the growth of infants fed according to feeding recommendations will lead to better support for breast-feeding and other accepted health practices. Given the importance and intended impact of the new charts, significant and careful preparation will go into their construction and release. Careful strategies are being implemented to transition from the old charts to the new. Effective design, communication, dissemination, and education will assure the adoption and appropriate use of the new WHO reference growth charts. These strategies are targeted towards a wide audience from scientists to mother and fathers.