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Average Weight Gain

Indicator Phrasing

average number of grams that recovered children aged 6-59 months gained per kg per day since admission into the treatment program
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: average number of grams that recovered children aged 6-59 months gained per kg per day since admission into the treatment program

French: nombre moyen de grammes que les enfants guéris âgés de 6 à 59 mois ont gagné par kg par jour depuis l'admission dans le programme de traitement

Portuguese: número médio de gramas que as crianças recuperadas com idades entre 6-59 meses ganharam por kg por dia desde a sua admissão no programa de tratamento

Czech: průměrný počet gramů, které zotavené děti ve věku 6-59 měsíců nabraly na 1 kg své váhy od doby přijetí do terapeutického programu

What is its purpose?

The indicator measures the average weight gain of children who were treated for acute malnutrition. It is an important indication of the treatment program's quality.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

1)  According to the Global Nutrition Cluster, "Average Daily Weight Gain is calculated on a randomized sample of cured discharges for kwashiorkor and marasmus. A reasonable randomized sample of discharged cured cases is 20. If lower numbers have been discharged as cured during the period of reporting, take all discharged cured." 


2) For every cured child in your sample, calculate the child's discharge weight (in kg) minus the minimum weight ever recorded during the treatment period. Multiply it by 1,000 to convert the weight gain to grams.


3) Divide the result by the minimum recorded weight (in kg) to get the grams of weight gained per kilo body weight.


4) Divide the result by the number of days elapsed between the discharge from the program and the date the minimum recorded weight was recorded.


5) Subsequently, the average weight gain can be calculated as the sum of individual weight gains (gram/kg/day) divided by the total number of children.

Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by geographical area, gender and age groups.

Important Comments

1) The indicator does not require any separate survey – all data can be gained from the treatment program's regular records.


2) To save time, you can set up a simple program in Excel that calculates the average weight gain.


3) The rate of average weight gain in OTP programmes is frequently around 8g/kg/day. Considerably lower weight gain might indicate the program's limited quality. It also significantly increases its costs (due to higher consumption of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food and higher staff time requirements). The thresholds for average weight gain recommended by the Global Nutrition Cluster are below 5 g/kg/d: poor, 5-10 g/kg/d: moderate and above 10 g/kg/d: good. 

This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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