A secondary analysis of anthropometric data from the 1999 National Food Consumption Survey, using different growth reference standards

Bosman, Lise (2008-12)

Thesis (MNutr (Human Nutrition))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

INTRODUCTION: The best known reference standards used to evaluate the growth and development of infants and children are the 1977 National Centre for Health Statistics (NCHS) - , the 2000 Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - and the World Health Organization (WHO) (2006). The NCHS reference standards were used to analyse anthropometric data from the 1999 National Food Consumption Survey (NFCS). It was anticipated that using the 2000 CDC and the 2006 WHO reference standards may lead to differences in the previously estimated prevalences of stunting, wasting, underweight, risk of overweight, overweight and obesity in the study population. AIM: To compare the anthropometric status of children aged 12 - 60 months when using the 1977 NCHS -, the 2000 CDC -, and the 2006 WHO reference standards. METHODS: A secondary analysis of anthropometric data from the 1999 NFCS was conducted using different reference standards to compare anthropometric status in terms of the prevalences of stunting, wasting, underweight, risk of overweight, overweight and obesity. Relationships between anthropometric status and other variables such as breastfeeding, maternal education level and type of housing were explored. RESULTS: The prevalences of stunting, obesity and overweight were significantly higher and the prevalence of underweight and wasting were lower when using the 2006 WHO compared to the 1977 NCHS and the 2000 CDC reference standards. A significant relationship was found between weight-forheight and breastfeeding when using any one of the reference standards and between BMI-for-age and breastfeeding when using the 2006 WHO reference standard. A significant relationship was shown between maternal education level and height-for-age and weight-for-age when using any one of the three reference standards and a significant association was found between weight-for-height and BMI-for-age and the type of housing when using any of the three reference standards. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalences of stunting and obesity were higher when using the 2006 WHO reference standards compared to the 1977 NCHS and 2000 CDC reference standards. This may be due to the linear growth and rate of weight gain of breastfed infants differing from formula fed infants and the 2006 WHO reference made use of the exclusively and predominantly breastfed infant living under normal healthy conditions as the normative model which is a prescription of how children should not grow and .not an indication of how children are growing. In conclusion, the 2006 WHO reference standard must be the only reference standard used nationally and internationally when assessing the growth and nutritional status of infants and children.

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