A workshop dealing with the physical growth of ethnic groups comprising the US population, organized by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, was held at Elkridge, Md, from Feb 18 to 20, 1975. A summary of the proceedings and the recommendations of the participants follow.
Jean-Pierre Habicht, MD, discussed the selection of appropriate anthropometric variables, using as his main criterion their relevance to normal health and functioning. He showed, for example, that head circumference provides information other than that available from height and that it may be related to brain growth and intelligence test performance in preschool children. Many physicians cease to measure head circumference at 2 years of age. This is unfortunate because these measurements are very reliable and a decrease in a child's head circumference is a sensitive index of fat loss.
James P. Carter, MD, DPH, stressed the importance of monitoring growth rate and