Bibliographic Review About Anthropometric Measurements in Mother-Child Dyads

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Monserrat Morales Alducin1
Rubi Chantal Casco Ojeda1
Corina M. Alba-Alba, PhD2
(1)Department of Health Sciences, Universidad de las Américas Puebla, San Andrés Cholula Puebla, Mexico
(2)Nursing, Universidad de las Américas, Puebla, México, Cholula, Puebla, Mexico


Anthropometric techniques are diverse and they do require skilled levels in order to be executed. It is important for the nursing workforce to know about the most practical anthropometric techniques to be applied at community or research interventions, especially when mother-child dyads are assessed to know the relationship between Body Mass Index of both. Anthropometric measurements of mother-child dyads are useful in clinics or research, as alterations can be detected on time for preventing health-related issues. Therefore, the objective of this research is to identify the most practical, reliable, and precise anthropometric indicators for mother-child dyads.


A systematic research at the Scielo, nursery index, EBSCO, and PubMed databases was carried out using the following keywords: anthropometric, child, mother, and Boolean operators ("AND", "OR", and "NOT"). Retrieving articles published in the last five years, a total of 277 articles were obtained. After that, 200 outstanding titles were chosen; then, the summaries without key information for the research were dismissed; consequently, the whole texts were read and 150 articles, either in English or Spanish, were chosen. Finally, 50 of the most accurate articles related to the information of the mother-child dyads' anthropometric measurements were selected for this literature review.


50 articles from Brazil, Spain, China, Colombia, Venezuela, and Cuba were retrieved. It was found out that the main anthropometric measurements used to evaluate children were weight, height, waist circumference, and BMI (according to OMS BMI calculator and classification for male and female children); and to evaluate the mother, they were BMI (according to weight/height2 formula) and waist circumference. However, a few of them measure skinfold, hip-waist relationship and brachial folds for children and mothers, but these techniques need high trained and standardized skills.

On the other hand, it was found out that manual bio-impedance is not advisable as an interchangeable method for children and adolescents. The BMI and bioelectrical impedance are the ideal indicators to detect symptomless disorders. In fact, the price and special indications in procedures for bioelectrical impedance made this tool less convenient for practical purposes and, besides, enough articles investigating the convenience of every anthropometry technique were not found.


As yet, it has not been found enough information that points out the specific relationship of anthropometric registers among mother and child dyads. The BMI and waist circumference are considered the most practical anthropometric measurements in both child and mothers. Such measurements can be applied by nurses for clinical or research purposes. Finally, it was concluded that the anthropometric measurements must be individualized according to each clinical or research purpose.