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The Fight Against Hunger and MalnutritionThe Role of Food, Agriculture, and Targeted Policies$
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David E. Sahn

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198733201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733201.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 12 November 2019

Using Height-for-Age Difference Instead of Height-for-Age Z-Scores for the Meaningful Measurement of Catch-Up Growth in Children under 5 Years of Age

Using Height-for-Age Difference Instead of Height-for-Age Z-Scores for the Meaningful Measurement of Catch-Up Growth in Children under 5 Years of Age

Chapter:
(p.19) 1 Using Height-for-Age Difference Instead of Height-for-Age Z-Scores for the Meaningful Measurement of Catch-Up Growth in Children under 5 Years of Age
Source:
The Fight Against Hunger and Malnutrition
Author(s):

Jef L. Leroy

Marie T. Ruel

Jean-Pierre Habicht

Edward A. Frongillo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733201.003.0002

Recent studies have documented catch-up growth in children, defining catch-up as a positive change in height-for-age Z-scores (HAZ). HAZ is inappropriate to measure changes in linear growth as populations age, because it is based on cross-sectional normative data, not longitudinal data. The chapter proposes the use of absolute height-for-age differences (HAD). Using cross-sectional and longitudinal data from select developing countries, it compares changes in HAD and HAZ in children between 2 and 5 years old. Using HAD, the chapter finds not only an absence of catch-up growth, but a continued deterioration reflected in a decrease in HAD between these ages. This finding does not challenge the critical importance of investing in nutrition during the first 1,000 days (i.e. from pregnancy to 2 years of age), but raises a number of research questions including how to prevent continued growth faltering and what is the potential to benefit from nutrition interventions after 2 years of age.

Keywords:   catch-up growth, linear growth, children, first 1,000 days, growth faltering, height-for-age differences

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