New child growth charts introduced
8 May 2009 00:00 in Industry related health news
New growth charts for babies and young children are set to be introduced, the government has announced.
The current charts, dating from 1990, are based on growth rates for formula-fed babies who grow faster than those who are breast-fed.
The charts will help make more reliable predictions of a child's adult height and help parents and healthcare professionals identify children at early risk of obesity, experts claim.
Research shows that breast-fed babies tend to gain weight at a healthier pace and are less likely to become obese in later life.
Dr Sheila Shribman, national clinical director for children, young people and maternity at the Department of Health said: "Breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition for infants. It gives health benefits for both the baby and the mother - even after they are no longer breastfeeding.
Professor Terence Stephenson, president of Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health added: "The new charts have given us the opportunity to give growth charts a complete facelift and for the first time, position breastfeeding as 'the norm'."
The launch of the charts coincides with National Breastfeeding Awareness Week which starts on May 10th.
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Story collated for Zenopa by the Adfero News Agency