Jornal de Pediatria
On-line version ISSN 1678-4782
ZEFERINO, Angélica M.B.; BARROS FILHO, Antonio A.; BETTIOL, Heloisa and BARBIERI, Marco A.. Monitoring growth. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2003, vol.79, suppl.1, pp. S23-S32. ISSN 1678-4782. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572003000700004.
OBJECTIVE: to present concepts related to growth assessment, with emphasis on aspects concerning the evaluation of individuals. SOURCES OF DATA: the present paper is based on reports published by the WHO regarding the use anthropometry for the assessment of nutritional status; on original articles; and on book chapters about the same topic, as well as on the criticisms of auxologists of this type of assessment when employed at the individual level. SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS: concepts concerning reference, skeletal maturity, mid-parental target height, z score, short stature, growth rate, body mass index, and their assumptions and limitations are presented. CONCLUSIONS: the assessment of the nutritional status of a population is based on cut-off points, taking into consideration that whoever is below or above that point presents a nutritional problem. Clinical evaluation is based on the idea of variability, which can be both biological and social, and on the idea that it is the clinician's task to establish whether a child within or outside given parameters presents normal growth and nutritional status. When monitoring the growth of a child or adolescent, the most important parameter to be considered is growth rate.
Keywords : growth; anthropometry; growth curve; maturation; nutritional status; short stature; obesity.