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close this bookCauses and Mechanisms of Linear Growth Retardation (International Dietary Energy Consultative Group - IDECG, 1993, 216 pages)
close this folderGuidelines for the study of mechanisms involved in the prevention or reversal of linear growth retardation in developing countries
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentBackground
View the documentThe design of research on stunting
View the documentApproaches to the study of stunting
View the documentSample size
View the documentPotential experimental models for clinical trials
View the documentExamples of useful measurements


These guidelines are intended for investigators who plan to undertake research on the prevention or reversal of growth stunting in developing countries. They stem from the symposium sponsored by the IDECG on 'Causes and Mechanisms of Linear Growth Retardation', and consider the major conclusions reached by the group concerning the types of research questions that need to be answered and the methods that should be used to address them. The intent is to prioritize when (at what ages) and how (what outcome and confounding measures) the research should be done, rather than which independent variables should be studied. The point of proposing elements of a common general research protocol is to strengthen the external validity of the findings of individual projects, and to improve the opportunity to interpret results from different environments.

The main purpose of the suggested approaches to research is to improve our scientific understanding of how specific nutritional and other factors affect the body so that growth stunting results or is reversed. Further details concerning the choice of independent and outcome variables are to be found in this supplement.

Investigators studying causes and mechanisms of linear growth retardation and interested in following these guidelines are encouraged to inform the IDECG Secretariat (c/o Nestle Foundation, PO. Box 581, 1001 Lausanne, Switzerland), because IDECG is considering the possibility of organizing another workshop at which the results of such studies will be discussed.