Growth parameters should be monitored in children receiving psychiatric treatment as they are more likely to have higher weights than other children, North American researchers report.
They suggest guidelines are needed for both prevention and intervention in this high-risk paediatric population.
Investigators performed a chart review on 34 consecutive paediatric patients admitted to one intermediate stay, inpatient service in 1997 and 1998. Participants were aged six to 12 years. Growth parameters were plotted for each child using standard growth curves. They calculated obesity, absolute weight at or above the 95th and 50th percentiles, underweight status, height, macrocephaly and microcephaly. Obesity was defined obesity as body mass index at or above the 95th percentile. Risk factors for atypical growth were recorded.
They found that 11.8 percent of the children were obese, 23.5 percent had weight at or above the 95th percentile and 79.3 percent had weight at or above the 50th percentile.