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Calculation of weight gain in CMAM

This question was posted the Management of wasting/acute malnutrition forum area and has 14 replies.

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Charulatha Banerjee

Terre des hommes Foundation

Normal user

17 Jul 2014, 05:48

SAM child - oedema free- but comes with diarrhoea to the facility. After 2-3 days of diarrhoea child loses weight - hence weight on 3rd /4th day is lower than admission weight. i.e. this is the lowest weight of the child. When weight gain is being calculated should it be done against admission weight or lowest weight of the child on 3rd/4th day? This situation is not frequent but we do encounter such cases. Answers from the forum will be appreciated.

Anonymous 361

Sen. Adv. FNS Concern Worldwide

Normal user

17 Jul 2014, 10:01

Weight gain is calculated using the lowest weight during the treatment period and not the weight on admission day

Lovely Amin

Nutrition Advisor

Normal user

17 Jul 2014, 13:14

Dear Dr. Charulata, Hope you are well. I’m now in Sahel for SQUEAC! In CMAM programme, any cases (oedematous and /or acute illness), weight gain always to be calculated from the lowest point of weight. Best regards,

Charulatha Banerjee

Terre des hommes Foundation

Normal user

21 Jul 2014, 04:22

Thank you Regina and Lovely Apa. Wish you both a good week ahead.

Anonymous 2550

Nutrition specialist, World vision Ethiopia

Normal user

21 Jul 2014, 10:19

Greetings, Whenever we want to calculate Wt gain, we need to use minimum wt rather than Admissin; but incase when we don't have min Wt, we can use Admission wt If we take Oedematous cases, Wt lose in subsequent follow ups doesnt mean that the condition is deteriorating; it could be sign for improvement. I dont want to go further as others reponded in a more clear way! Thanks!

Alice Burrell

MSc student, LSHTM

Normal user

21 Jul 2014, 10:48

Hello, A slightly different direction to this quetion - but does anyone know how I can calculate weight gain in either excel or STATA given that I need to use the lowest weight over the time series for each patient to calculate this? Thank-you

Moses Cowan

Nutrition Officer

Normal user

18 Sep 2014, 13:25

It is best advisable to calculate weight gain during discharge (cure) for a clear picture of how the child progresses. Calculating weight gain between days can give very small evolution taking into account the feed per day. But in general calculating weight gain requires using the minimum weight attained by the child in respective of the days been the (3rd or 4th). What I want to know is to what context in the CMAM programme does the child belongs to (OTP/IPF)? Because in the IPF it is normally very small weight gain whilst in the OTP it is difficult to determine the minimum weight within days. Hope to get response on facility of the CMAM programme. Thanks

Mark Myatt

Frequent user

18 Sep 2014, 14:49

Alice, Sorry to get to this so late. I am not a STATA or EXCEL user but the procedure would be the same in any environment. Suppose you have columns of days and weights such as: day weight 1 10.9 7 9.7 14 10.1 21 10.9 28 11.4 35 11.8 42 12.1 49 12.5 Then your wight gain would be: last weight - minimum weight Using R this would be something like: weight[length(weight)] - min(weight) This should be easy to do do in STATA (not sure about EXCEL). Moses, I agree that weight between days will be small and gains may be lost in the noise of measurement errors and other sources of variation (e.g. hydration). Gains should be large enough between visits (weekly or fortnightly) to be detectable. In this case we would not want to see a zero or negative weight gain between visits (the exception is that we'd want to see negative weight gain as oedema is lost in kwashiorkor cases). I assume "IPF" means inpatient stabilisation (SC). Weight gains will usually be small or negative (in the case of loss of oedema). It is common to transfer from SC to OTP after a few days based on clinical criteria (infections treated, oedema lost, appetite returned) rather than weight loss. Whether you use data from the start of the SC phase or from the start of the OTP episode is a matter of choice. If the SC is run by a separate agency then and you do not have easy access to patients' SC records then it is common to use data from the OTP episode alone. This should not make much difference as their should be << 5% of patients entering SC after the first few weeks of operation. I hope this is of some use.

Anonymous 3445

M&E officer

Normal user

6 Sep 2016, 18:11

Hi Alice,
"Average weight gain = Sum of individual weight gains (gram/kg/day) / Total number of beneficiaries".
STATA code for a variable set:
var1 var2 var3 ...... var12
x11 x12 x13 ...... x112
x21 x22 x23 ...... x212

1. generate a variable with minimum weight
. egen minweight = rowmin (var1 - var12)
2. generate a variable with maximum weight
. egen maxweight = rowmax (var1 - var12)
3. generate a variable with gained weights
. gen weight_gained = maxweight - minweight
4. calculate the average of gained weights
. mean weight_gained

Vrinda Kiradoo


Normal user

20 Aug 2021, 13:47

When we calculate the average weight gain indicator for the program then average weight gain of all discharged children will be counted as death, defaulter, cured, not cured and referral or it will counted for only successfully discharged children. 


Action Against Hunger UK

Technical expert

22 Aug 2021, 15:47

Average weight gain is typically reported as the average weight gain of those children discharged as cured during the reporting period.

Mahamadou Adamou

Nutritionniste Direction de la Nutrition

Normal user

22 Aug 2021, 23:38

  • To calculate the weight gain, we consider the lowest weight that the child had during his stay at the CRENI and also take into account the length of stay from this minimum weight until the child's discharge.
  • For the calculation of the average weight gain it only takes into account the children who leave the CRENI cured.

Zeze conde

Nutritionniste point focal

Normal user

27 Apr 2022, 14:05

What are the weight gain assessment ranges?

As an example after calculation we obtain a weight gain = 5.5g/kg/day. Can we conclude that it is good, average, very good?

Thank you

Mbaye Diop

Normal user

27 Apr 2022, 15:12


I think it's easier to use the WHO weight gain chart.

It is more convenient and more reliable.

Thank you

Nebiyu Ayalew

Nutrition program manager

Normal user

28 Apr 2022, 06:59

Dear Dr,

When ever you calculate weight gain it is recommended to take lowest wt rather than taking the admission  weight, in addition to this the child should be free from oedema.

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