Growth of primary school children: A validation of the 1990 references and their use in growth monitoring

Mary C.J. Rudolf, Tim J. Cole, Aaron J. Krom, Pinki Sahota, Jenny Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Aims - To determine whether the British 1990 growth charts are valid for cross sectional and longitudinal use in primary school children. Methodsm - A total of 694 children aged 7-10 years from 10 Leeds primary schools were weighed and measured annually over three years by an expert auxologist. SD scores were calculated using both the Tanner-Whitehouse (TW) and the revised British 1990 growth references. Results - The growth of this sample of children approximated the 1990 growth reference, with mean (SD) scores for height 0.12 (1.01), weight 0.20 (1.07), and body mass index (BMI) 0.19 (1.12). By comparison, the TW standards exaggerated the height and weight centiles. There was minimal channel crossing for height in either direction with 1.0% crossing up at least one channel width (0.67 SD-scores), and 0.2% down for height. However, there was clear evidence of weight and particularly BMI increasing with age between and within subjects, at rates of up to 0.1 SDscores per year. Conclusions - This study supports the adoption of the new growth references, and their use longitudinally for height monitoring. It also highlights the increasing weight of the school age population as a public health issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-301
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2000
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Medical Research CouncilG9827821


    • Growth
    • Growth charts
    • Growth references
    • Growth standards
    • Obesity


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