Implementation of the WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study in Brazil

Cora L. Araújo, Elaine Albernaz, Elaine Tomasi, Cesar G. Victora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The World Health Organization (WHO) Multicentre Growth Reference Study (MGRS) South American site was Pelotas, Brazil. The sample for the longitudinal component was drawn from three hospitals that account for approximately 90% of the city's deliveries. The cross-sectional sample was drawn from a community survey based on households that participated in the longitudinal sample. One of the criteria for site selection was the availability of a large, community based sample of children whose growth was unconstrained by socioeconomic conditions. Local work done in 1993 demonstrated that children of families with incomes at least six times the minimum wage had a stunting rate of 2.5%. Special public relations and implementation activities were designed to promote the acceptance of the study by the community and its successful completion. Among the major challenges of the site were serving as the MGRS pilot site, low baseline breastfeeding initiation and maintenance rates, and reluctance among pediatricians to acknowledge the relevance of current infant feeding recommendations to higher socioeconomic groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFood and Nutrition Bulletin
Issue number1 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthropometry
  • Brazil
  • Breastfeeding
  • Child health
  • Child nutrition
  • Growth
  • Growth monitoring
  • Growth references
  • Infant feeding practices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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