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How was the standard weight chart developed?

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The newest standard weight chart in use was constructed by analyzing studies and new standards based on data collected by the World Health Organization for infants from birth up to the age of 2 and the Centers for Disease Control for children between the age of 2 and 20. It introduces new body-mass index or BMI charts and establishes a formula for determining BMI, as of 2016.

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The new WHO and CDC studies departed from previous models in several ways designed to assist in the development of standards that could apply on a universal basis regardless of the socioeconomic level of nations. They attempt to capture international data and consider a variety of statistical information relating to height and weight indicators, growth in head and arm circumference, and the thickness of subscapular and triceps skin folds.

The new studies assumed a more even mix of breast-feeding and formula-feeding as nutritional norms for infants, as opposed to previous models that used only artificial feeding. They attempted to supplement height and weight indicators with innovative growth indicators that researchers consider particularly useful for monitoring the increase in childhood obesity.

The multinational focus of the studies also allowed for the development of growth-velocity standards that enable early detection of under- and over-nutrition in children. They also provided data that led to the development of six new indicators that mark important milestones that provide a link between physical growth and the development of motor skills.

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