The World Health Organization (WHO) Working Group on Infant Growth assessed the growth patterns of infants fed under current WHO recommendations as part of a study conducted between 1992 and 1994. The study developed a growth curve for breast-fed infants in six western nations. This curve is compared with the WHO-NCHS curve that is currently used in the United States ( WHO, 1994 ).
The study contacted investigators around the world who had evaluated the growth of breast-fed infants and invited them to contribute data. The data was evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:
Seven studies from the United States, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the United Kingdom, and Canada were included.
Growth curves were calculated from 226 infants exclusively breast-fed for at least four months, and breast fed with supplemental foods for > 12 months.
The dashed lines on the four growth curves shown below are the 25th, 50th and 75th percentile lines of the NCHS Curves.
The solid lines are the same percentiles for the 226 breast-fed infants.
The following four graphs are from An Evaluation of Infant Growth ( WHO, 1994 ).
Length Quartiles compared with the current NCHS-WHO reference
Weight-for-Length Quartiles compared with the current NCHS-WHO reference
Head Circumference Quartiles compared with the current NCHS-WHO reference
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