Collection, collation and analysis of data in relation to reference heights and reference weights for female and male children and adolescents (0-18 years) in the EU, as well as in relation to the age of onset of puberty and the age at which different stages of puberty are reached in adolescents in the EU
van Buuren, S.
van Dommelen, P.
Growth references of children 0-18 years living in the European Union (EU) are needed for the derivation of Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) for nutrients and other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect. This report presents harmonised growth references for height, weight and body mass index (BMI) at the EU-level, and an inventory of the available information on pubertal development at the EU-level. Harmonised growth references were calculated using existing material available from the individual EU Member States covering the period 1990-2011. The coverage of the European population was high: 90.1% for height-for-age, 87.5% for weight-for-age, and 85.2% for BMI-for-age. Mean height of European boys at age 18 years was equal to 177.6 cm (SD: 7.1), girls 164.7 cm (SD: 6.7). Median weight at 18 years was estimated as 69.3 kg (boys) and 57.4 kg (girls). Median BMI-values at 18 years were 21.9 kg/m2 (boys) and 21.1 kg/m2 (girls), respectively. Reference charts and tables 0-18 years were calculated. Most heterogeneity between Member States was observed for height, whereas differences in BMI tended to be small. Mean age of menarche at the EU-level was 12.7 years (coverage 91.8%). Data on Tanner stages (boys: genital development and pubic hair; girls: breast development and pubic hair) and data on testicular volume were available for a minority of EU Member States, and lacked sufficient quality and consistency to calculate references at the EU-level. We recommend applying the harmonised EU growth references in deriving DRVs. Also, we recommend updating the harmonised EU growth references once every 10 years.
BSS - Behavioural and Societal Sciences
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Healthy for Life
LS - Life Style