Annals of Human Biology vol:13 issue:4 pages:347-57
Lack of local references has brought many fieldworkers to use the NCHS reference or other Western standards to assess the nutritional status of children in different developing countries. Cross-sectional data from 6631 children between 0 and 6 years of age, without signs of protein-energy malnutrition, were collected by the same observer in four different geographical areas in Africa and Asia. For each of the four geographical areas, local growth curves were drawn and compared with the NCHS reference. The local curves shows clear heterogeneity, and the values at different ages are not a constant proportion of the NCHS. These observations are in favour of using local standards in the nutritional screening of children in order to develop efficient and effective nutritional programmes.