Management of Malnutrition in Children Under Five Years
Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition
Anthropometric Measurement Techniques
Calculating the Weight-for-Height/Length percentage or Standard Deviation score
Using the Weight/Height table to calculate the
Weight-for-Height/Length percentage or Standard Deviation (Z-score)
This reference table helps in the interpretation of anthropometric measurements through the Weight-for-Height/Length percentage (W/H %) or Standard Deviation score (Z-score).
Steps for using the Table:
Example: A length of a boy is 73.8 cm and his weight is 6.7 kg. (This example uses the
- Find the column "Height" on the table. Round the figure to the nearest 0.5cm and look down that column for the figure (e.g. For 73.8 cm measurement, look for the figure 74).
- Take a ruler (or a piece of card) and place it under the figure (e.g. 74) making sure that it is horizontal under the other figures on the same line (8.8; 8; 7.2 and 6.4)
- On this line find the figure/range corresponding to the weight of the child (e.g. in this case 6.7 kg is between 6.4 and 7.2 kg on the table).
- Follow these columns up to the top of the table to note the percentage and SD range (e.g. 6.4 and 7.2 are between the columns showing 60% and 70% or between -4 SD and -3SD). The range should be written down as such for interpretation.
Using the Weight-for-Height Wall Chart to calculate the Weight-for-Height/Length percentage or Standard Deviation score (Z-score)
The Chart helps in the interpretation of anthropometric measurements through a colour coding system which corresponds to the equivalent Weight-for-Height percentage (W/H %) or Standard Deviation score (Z-score). However, it is not commonly used.
The chart is printed on heavy duty laminated paper with an approximate size 140 x 100 cm (approx. 55 x 39 inches). The paper is roller-stick mounted.
Steps for using the Weight-for-Height Wall Chart:
- Fix the chart on an even wall with the bottom of the chart touching the floor.
- Take the child's weight to the nearest 500 g and record.
- Locate the child's weight with your finger.
- Ask the caregiver to put the child under your finger against the wall chart.
- Make sure the child is upright and in the correct place against the appropriate weight column.
- Check that the middle of the child's head is under his weight on the chart.
- Check that the child's shoulders and feet are against the chart.
- Check that the child's heels are against his weight at the bottom of the chart.
- Put the palm of your hand on the child's head, touch the chart with your finger.
- Check the colour band your finger touches.
- The colour indicates the child's Weight-for-Height (W/H) range.
| ||Colour||% W/H||SD|
||60% - 70%
||-4 to -3 SD
|Red||70% - 80%||-3 to -2 SD|
|Yellow||80%- 90%||-2 to -1 SD|
|Upper Green||90% - 100%||-1 to 0 SD|
|Green||100% - 110%|
14 September, 2019