chapter  7
30 Pages

Nutrition During Infancy, Childhood and Adolescence

Babies grow faster in their early months and more slowly in the latter part of the rst year. An infant’s birthweight is doubled within 4-6 months and trebles within the rst year.

Growth is slower thereafter, and the weight at 5 years is on average twice that of the weight at 1 year. Standard growth curves (see Figure 7.1) are used to monitor a child’s development in terms of height and weight. They are based on percentiles, which represent the range of expected normal results in a group of children. The position of any one child represents their rank if 100 children had been measured. Monitoring weight and height at intervals allows a child’s progress to be followed. Deviations over time from the child’s usual curve may indicate inadequate nutrition, perhaps as a

result of concurrent illness. This may be seen frequently in children in developing countries, who may experience periods of infection, possibly often in addition to chronic poor nutrition, resulting in slowed growth.