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Comparison of height, weight and BMI of Indian school children (6–14 years of age) with WHO New Growth Standards
  1. Meenu Dhingra1,
  2. Rita Jain2,
  3. Yujwal Raj2
  1. 1Scientific Officer, Human Performance Lab, Sports Authority of India, Delhi, India
  2. 2Professor of Anthropology, IGIPESS, University of Delhi, Delhi, India
  3. 3Programme Officer, NACO, New Delhi, India


Background WHO New Growth Standards 2006 are considered appropriate for Indian population and clinicians and anthropologists can assess nutritional status of children much early in life. Comparing with these standards provide useful insights into early recognition and prevention of childhood nutritional problems.

Objective and methodology With the objective of assessing the nutritional status of school children, an anthropometric survey of Delhi school children (N=711) aged 6–14 years (boys=398; girls= 313) was conducted in 2008. Height, weight and body mass index were compared with WHO New Growth Standards 2006. Statistical analysis was based on WHO Anthroplus software for calculation of mean, median, SD, range and z scores, for each variable over 9 age groups in boys and girls.

Results Results of z scores for weight-for-age (zwfa), height-for-age (zhfa) and BMI-for-age (zbfa) indicate that boys fall in the overweight category with shorter height (SD >1<2) in all age groups except at age group 8 where the boys are significantly taller than reference values. In case of girls, zwfa and zbfa indicate that girls are overweight in all age groups (SD >1<2) except at age 6 and zhfa scores reflect that they are shorter than the reference values across all age groups.

Conclusions The present study shows overweight condition of both boys and girls in the study of Indian school. Nutritional intervention and physical activity programme may be suggested to them to prevent any further complications. It is recommended that similar study be carried out every year on school children to monitor the progress of growth and development.

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