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The aim of the National Study of Health and Growth (NSHG) was to set up an anthropometric system of surveillance on selected growth, nutritional and health characteristics that could identify the effects of the changes in food policy.

Main Topics/Subject Category
Measurements of age, gender, height, weight, triceps skinfold thickness, ethnic origin, school milk consumption and number of siblings for all children. Information on birth weight, past history of respiratory illnesses and hospitalisations, number of siblings and current consumption of school milk and meals and other milk and dairy produce (as supplied by the mother or guardian), is recorded for most new entrant children.
England, Scotland, age, anthropometric data, asthma, attitudes, bacterial and virus diseases, bedrooms, bronchitis, central heating, child nutrition, children, coal, cooking, cooking facilities, costs, coughing, diet and nutrition, diseases, economic activity, electric heating, employment, family size, father's economic activity, father's occupation, fathers, gas supply, gas-fired heating, gender, general practitioners, growth (physiological), health, health consultations, heating systems, height (physiology), households, industries, job description, meals, medical care, menstruation, milk, mother's educational background, mother's occupation, mothers, multiple births, one-parent families, passive smoking, pneumonia, pregnancy, puberty, qualifications, residential mobility, respiratory tract diseases, rooms, school meals, school milk, provision, schools, self-employed, siblings, smoking, social security benefits, solid fuel heating, supervisory status, symptoms, training, unemployment benefits, water services (buildings), weight (physiology), working mothers
Identifier Variables
Employment exchange areas, electoral ward
Economic/Subject Categories
Area of Health System
Public health
Data Available
Risk behaviours
Data collecting organization (s)
St Thomas' Hospital Medical School
Data Type
Survey (longitudinal)
Coverage (date of field work)
1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
Unit of Analysis

10,543 primary school children aged four and a half to eleven years, resident in England and Wales in phase 1(1972-1976), 11808 (obtained) New entrants between 1977-1981, 56241 (obtained) New entrants between 1982 and 1994.

UK Data Archive, ESDS longitudinal
Conditions of Access
Free registration access
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