Successive 1-month weight increments in infancy can be used to screen for faltering linear growth

Adelheid W. Onyango, Elaine Borghi, Mercedes de Onis, Edward A. Frongillo, Cesar G. Victora, Kathryn G. Dewey, Anna Lartey, Nita Bhandari, Anne Baerug, Cutberto Garza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Linear growth faltering in the first 2 y contributes greatly to a high stunting burden, and prevention is hampered by the limited capacity in primary health care for timely screening and intervention. Objective: This study aimed to determine an approach to predicting long-term stunting from consecutive 1-mo weight increments in the first year of life. Methods: By using the reference sample of the WHO velocity standards, the analysis explored patterns of consecutive monthly weight increments among healthy infants. Four candidate screening thresholds of successive increments that could predict stunting were considered, and one was selected for further testing. The selected threshold was applied in a cohort of Bangladeshi infants to assess its predictive value for stunting at ages 12 and 24 mo. Results: Between birth and age 12 mo, 72.6% of infants in the WHO sample tracked within 1 SD of their weight and length. The selected screening criterion ("event") was 2 consecutive monthly increments below the 15th percentile. Bangladeshi infants were born relatively small and, on average, tracked downward from approximately age 6 to

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2725-2731
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Growth faltering
  • Growth velocity
  • Linear growth
  • Malnutrition screening
  • Stunting prevention
  • Weight increments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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