New WHO child growth standards: UN news conference in NY with audio available by telephone

How every child worldwide should grow

The World Health Organization (WHO) is releasing new international Child Growth Standards for infants and young children that, for the first time, provide evidence and guidance about how every child in the world should grow.

The new WHO Child Growth Standards confirm that a child born anywhere in the world and given the optimum start in life has the potential to develop to within the same range of height and weight. With these new charts, parents, doctors, policymakers and child advocates will know when the nutrition and healthcare needs of children are not being met.

The new Standards for infants and young children are the result of a global study initiated by WHO in 1997 to develop a new international standard for assessing the physical growth, nutritional status and motor development in all children from birth to age five.

WHO and its collaborators, led by the United Nations University, national governments, investigators from several universities as well as the Gates Foundation, undertook the Multicentre Growth Reference Study (MGRS).

It has been a community-based, multi-country project involving more than eight thousand children from Brazil, Ghana, India, Norway, Oman, and the United States. The children were selected based on an optimum environment for proper growth: recommended infant and young child feeding practices, good healthcare, and mothers who did not smoke, among others.


The Child Growth Standards will be released to media Thursday, April 27 at 12 noon GMT. Information is available to the media under embargo in advance at

New York News Conference:
WHERE: UN Secretariat, New York, Press Conference Room S-226
WHEN: 1100 EDT, Thursday, 27 April, 2006
WHO: Dr. Cutberto Garza, Director, United Nations University Food and Nutrition Program;
Chair, Multicentre Growth Reference Study;
Academic Vice President, Boston College

Media outside the UN who wish to audit the news conference may do so by dialling 917-367-9737.

Geneva News Conference:
WHERE: UN Palais, Geneva
WHEN: 1400 CET Thursday, 27 April, 2006
WHO: Dr Catherine le Galès-Camus, Assistant Director-General, Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, WHO
Dr Denise Costa Coitinho, Director of Nutrition for Health and Development, WHO
Dr Mercedes de Onis, Growth Assessment and Surveillance Unit Coordinator, Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, WHO
Multicentre Growth Reference Study Project Coordinator

One-on-one interviews: please contact communication officers to arrange exclusive phone interviews.

A full media package is available for preview online at:
Username: WHOstandards
Password: media

For more information contact:

Terry Collins
United Nations University, Office of the Rector
For North American or Asian media
Telephone: +1 416 538 8712
Mobile: +1 416-878 8712
E-mail: [email protected]

Sharad Agarwal
Communications officer
Nutrition for Health and Development, WHO/HQ
Telephone: +41 22 791 19 05
Mobile phone: +41 79 509 06 86
E-mail: [email protected]

Jane McElligott
Communications Adviser, Non-communicable diseases and Mental Health, WHO/HQ
Telephone: +41 22 791 33 53
Mobile phone: +41 79 477 17 40
E-mail: [email protected]

Alyson McColl
For North American or Asian media
Telephone: +1 202 572 2807
E-mail: [email protected]

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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