The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 115–117 | Cite as

Birth weights and lengths in Bihar state

  • Lala Surajnandan Prasad


The factors influencing the birth-weight of children are:
  1. (a)

    Racial and climatic.

  2. (b)

    Hereditary and genetic.

  3. (c)

    Nutritional state of the mother particularly during the last three months of pregnancy.

  4. (d)

    Presence of illness and infections in the mother during pregnancy.


The low average birth-weight of our children is a striking fact which cannot be ignored and which may be responsible for stunted growth in later childhood in many cases. Even more important than the birth-weight is the rate of gain of weight in infancy. This is the best index of progress up to one year of age. In fact if at any time up to one year, there is no gain of weight recorded for one week it has a pathological significance. The increase in weight in infancy up to 6 months is roughly 4 to 6 ounces a week and the rate of increase is approximately halved during the second half of the first year. Children who are larger than the ‘average’ at birth will continue to show this rate of increase in weight consistently above the average up to one year and those who are small at birth show this increase consistently below the average rate of gain in weight.

While there is little control over racial, climatic, hereditary and genetic factors, a good deal can certainly be achieved by improving the nutritional state of the mother and by eradicating illness and infections during pregnancy.


Nutritional State Prenatal Period Medical Person Boys Girl Social Prejudice 
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References The following articles were used as reference during the preparation of the paper

  1. 1.
    Bakwin andBakwin.—Body build in infants. Anthropometry of Newborn.Human Biol.,6: 1934.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Breton.—Race and limate as factors influencing weight of newborn,Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 5: 1922.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Washburn, A. H.—The significance of Individual Variations.J. Pediat.,8: 1936.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 1956

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lala Surajnandan Prasad
    • 1
  1. 1.Patna

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