Data Elements

The key indicators monitored by Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System (PedNSS) are:

Demographic Variables are variables associated with poor birth outcome and risk for poor infant or child health and growth status. These include race or ethnicity and age. Birth Weight low birth weight (<2,500 grams or 5 lb. 8 oz.) occurs when an infant is born less than 37 weeks of age, when there is intrauterine growth retardation or as a result of both conditions.

Height-for-Age low height-for-age, shortness or stunting (<5th percentile height-for-age National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)/CDC reference) reflects the long-term health and nutritional history of a child.

Weight-for-Height low weight-for-height or thinness (<5th percentile NCHS/CDC reference) is often associated with a recent illness or chronic disease. A prevalence of low weight-for-height greater than five percent reflects serious health and nutrition problems. High weight-for height or overweight (>95th percentile NCHS/CDC reference) in the pediatric population is an important public health issue. One-third to one-half of those who are above the 95th percentile weight-for-height will become obese adults.

Anemia and Iron Status low hemoglobin and/or hematocrit is used as a crude indicator of anemia and poor iron status. Although the most common cause of anemia throughout the world is iron deficiency, it is important to note that not all anemia is due to iron deficiency.

Breastfeeding —is recommended as the feeding of choice for all infants in the United States until they are 4–6 months of age unless there is some medical complication that requires another feeding option. The distribution of breastfeeding duration and of children that ever breastfed are reported.