It is well known that growth is a fundamental marker of health and well being in children. Previous research has found that children with cerebral palsy (CP), particularly with moderate to severe gross motor limitations, are typically shorter and grow more slowly than children without CP.

In this longitudinal cohort study of 175 children diagnosed with CP between the ages of 18 months and five years, data was collected and measured to assess influencers of height in children with CP. The key findings indicated that when the growth of young children with CP is being assessed, both functional status and gestational age at birth should be taken into consideration. Similarly, the study also concluded that energy intake, physical activity and sedentary time, whilst important for a child’s development, did not explain additional variations in growth.

This journal club episode is hosted by Dr Stina Oftedal

Stina  graduated as a dietitian in 2010, and obtained her PhD in November 2016 from the School of Medicine at the University of Queensland. The title of her thesis was “Modifiable lifestyle factors and their influence on growth and body composition in preschool aged children with cerebral palsy”.  She is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Newcastle in the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition where she has been working in the area of physical activity, diet quality and sleep and their associations with cardiovascular disease.

This episode is supported by an education grant from Nestlé Health Science.


Oftedal S et al. Longitudinal Growth, Diet, and Physical Activity in Young Children With Cerebral Palsy. Pediatrics. September, 2016. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-1321


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