paediatric malnutrition

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The diagnosis of paediatric malnutrition is based on the presence of clinical features of a particular type of malnutrition, together with comparison of the weight and height of the child with normals for that population.

Gomez charts define the 50th percentile of weight in the normal population as an arbitary 100% of normal; the child's weight can then be calculated as a percentage of this. Less than 60% is defined as severe, with 60 to 75% moderate and 75 to 90% mild.

The presence of any stunting of height implies that the malnutrition is chronic.

One important factor to remember is the effect that the oedema may have on the weight.

Last reviewed 06/2020