This study aimed to integrate the existing updated reference standards for the growth of Turkish infants and children and to compare these values with World Health Organization (WHO) reference data, data from some European countries, and also with previous local data. Weight, height, and head circumference measurements were obtained on 2,391 boys and 2,102 girls who were regular attenders of a well child clinic and on 1,100 boys and 1,020 girls attending schools in relatively well-off districts in İstanbul. Mean number of measurements per child was 8.2±3.6 in the age group 0-5 years and 5.5±3.3 in the age group 6-18 years. All children were from well-to-do families and all were healthy. All measurements with the exception of measurements at birth, which were based on reported values, were done by trained personnel.
The LMS method was used in the analyses and in the construction of the percentile charts. There is an increase in weight for age and body mass index values for age starting in prepubertal ages, indicating an increasing trend for obesity.
Compared to WHO reference data, weight and height values in Turkish children were slightly higher in infants and in children younger than 5 years, while they showed similarity to those reported for children from Norway and Belgium. Head circumference values, which were slightly higher than the WHO references in the first 5 years, were comparable to the data on Belgian and Norwegian children in the first 9 years of life. At older ages, Turkish children showed higher values for head circumference.