The NGDS Pilot Project

University of Karachi



½ About the NGDS Pilot Project ½ The NGDS Team ½ Subprojects ½ Results ½ Publications ½ Links ½ Homepage of Project Director ½


The NGDS Pilot Project URL:

Mission Statement  
Chronological Developments
Photo Gallery


Prof. Dr. Syed Arif Kamal
PhD (Mathematical Neuroscience)
MA, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD, USA
Guest Lecturer, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
Associated Professor, Malmö General Hospital, Malmö, Sweden
Sessional Faculty, the Aga Khan University Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan

Project Director,
the NGDS Pilot Project
Anthromathematics Group
Director, SF Growth-and-Imaging Laboratory, Room 006
Chairman, Department of Health, Physical Education and Sports
Sciences and Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Karachi
Karachi 75270, PO Box 8423, Pakistan.


Directions to reach SF Growth-and-Imaging Laboratory at University of Karachi are available on homepage of Project Director


e-mail OR Call: 9926 1619, 1077 Best Time to Call
From outside Karachi, but not outside Pakistan:
021 9926 1619, 1077
From outside Pakistan: 0092 21 9926 1619, 1077
Pakistan Standard Time: UTC + 5h

Informed consent Forms for Participation in:
The NGDS Pilot Project
PDF Word
The Sibling Growth Pilot Project PDF Word
(to read PDF files, first open Acrobat Reader)



Do you know that:
Your child becomes as much as
2 cm taller in the morning as compared to bedtime

Scoliosis (curvatures and rotations of the spinal column) develops quietly, without any pain, and is often accidentally discovered

Untreated scoliosis may require surgery involving delicate nerves
(the patients may get paralyzed)

Scoliosis may be detected at an early stage by moiré technique without
using harmful X rays

A child grows very slowly just before
 reaching puberty (most of the
 mothers bring their kids to doctors
 during this period)

Regular growth monitoring can result
saving lives of some children.

Observing the way your child walks
can give clues to underlying
health problems

Please visit the NGDS Photo Gallery

Growth-and-Obesity Profiles
of Children

Would you like to know beforehand
how tall and how heavy your child
could become as an adult?

Your children between the ages of
4-8 years may qualify to participate
Sibling Growth Pilot Project

Students who are going to write their
O-Level Examinations may be
nominated for
by their school principals

During the first 10 years, whatever one teaches a child is going to make a lasting impression. This site is dedicated to children of the third millennium, in order to establish communication with the parents, the teachers and the school-health professionals, so that the next generation grows up with a sound mind in a sound body, capable of making independent decisions based on creative thinking and critical analysis of all the factors involved.

Mission Statement

The NGDS Pilot Project is goodwill and public-service endeavor conducted for the care and the development of young persons to prepare them mentally, physically, emotionally and morally for rewarding careers in the civil and the military services.


A team of University of Karachi headed by Prof. Dr. Syed Arif Kamal has undertaken a pilot project to establish National Growth and Developmental Standards (NGDS)’ for the Pakistani children under the directives of Governor Sindh/Chancellor, University of Karachi. The NGDS Pilot Project was designed after extensive contacts with local and international experts, complying with all ethical and human-right standards applicable in this part of the world. The Project Director is Convener of Sub-Committee (Academics) of Transparency International Pakistan and, also, participates in activities of Human Right Commission of Pakistan.

Healthy 3-10-year-old children, studying in schools run by the Armed Forces, are measured and screened for anemia, cardiac problems and scoliosis major causes for growth retardation). The NGDS Team has detected stunting (lesser height-for-age) as well as a number of cases involving scoliosis. Stunting, if detected in preteen years, could be treated by a combination of sleep habits, diet, exercise and, in extreme cases, by hormone therapy. Scoliosis, if left untreated, produces cosmetic deformities and effects vital organs (e. g., heart, lungs) during adolescence. If detected early, it could be arrested with a combination of braces and exercises. Most important of all, delicate surgery involving spinal nerves may be avoided in most cases.

Chronological Developments

Since 1998, the NGDS Pilot Project is being successfully implemented at Army Public School, 'O' Levels, Karachi, Bahria College, NORE 1, MT Khan Road, Karachi and Fazaia (PAF) Degree College, Base 'Faisal', Karachi, representative institutions of each wing of the Armed Forces of Pakistan. The anthropometric measurements taken are sitting height, standing height, mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC), shoulder width and weight. Data have been collected on over 3000 children since the inception of this project. The children in these institutions are in a better-than-average health and represent a national sample. Starting 2011,
Beacon Light Academy, 'O' Levels, Gulshan-é-Iqbal, Karachi has, also, started Growth-and-Obesity Monitoring of students of KG class, who are being followed-up, yearly, to generate their Growth-and-Obesity Roadmaps.

Research carried out by the NGDS Team has been reported in international journals as well as various conferences, focusing IT, telemedicine, health-information technology, complexity science, early childhood care and development.
On March 22, 2010, the NGDS Team had the honor to
jump one-step ahead of rest of world. The height, mass and MUAC measurements can, now be carried out by our team to accuracies of 0.01 cm (world standard 0.1 cm), 0.01 kg (world standard 0.1 kg) and 0.01 cm (world standard 0.1 cm), respectively.

Some of the recent contributions in modeling of child growth are introduction of
innovative concepts: (i) optimal mass, (ii) quantitative estimates of wasting (lesser weight-for-height) and obesity (excess weight-for-height), statuses (pertaining-to-mass) — the ratio of absolute difference of mass and optimal mass to optimal mass, expressed as percentage, (iii) estimated-adult BMIBMI stands for body-mass index, (iv) replacement of height (growth) velocities and rates of gain/loss of mass by interpretation of height- and mass-percentile trajectories, (v) quantitative estimates of stunting and tallness (excess height-for-age), statuses (pertaining-to-height) — the ratio of absolute difference of height and current-age-mid-parental height to current-age-mid-parental height, expressed as percentage, (vi) pseudo gain of height/mass, (vii) quantitative recommendations and their month-wise breakdown to gain height (cm/month) and gain/lose mass (kg/month) — these recommendations are explained through worked examples (PDF), (viii) energy-channelization problem, which explained coexistence of wasting and tallness as well as obesity and stunting and (ix) puberty-induced energy-channelization (PDF document). Numerical examples (PDF) illustrate these concepts (and other existing concepts, e. g., BMI, physical loss of height/mass, under-nutrition — coexistence of wasting and stunting, over-nutrition  — coexistence of tallness and obesity, acute malnutrition  — severe wasting and stunting).

CDC Growth Charts and CDC Growth Tables, representing heights and masses of boys and girls, have been extended to include extreme (0.01th, 0.1th, 1st, 99th, 99.9th and 99.99th) percentiles. In addition, mathematical formulae are given to even more limiting cases.    


General-Interest Article
Anthromathematics — A New Branch of Mathematics PDF

Informative Articles for Parents
Growth-and-Nutritional-Status Monitoring of Primary-School Children PDF
Growth-and-Obesity Monitoring of Primary-School Children (Armed-Forces Institutions) PDF
How to Guard Against Curvatures of the Spinal Column in Children? Printable Version PDF
Moiré Fringe Topography for the Detection of Scoliosis in Children Printable Version PDF
What Can You Learn from the Way Your Child Walks? Printable Version PDF

Guideline Articles for Parents
Suggestions for Increasing Height PDF
Guidelines for Optimal-Weight Management PDF
Helpful Hints for Overcoming Vitamin-D Deficiency PDF

Journal Papers for Researchers/Pediatricians/Nutritionists/Community-Health Scientists
Mathematical Modeling of Scoliosis Indicators in Growing Children (in press) PDF
Gait Analysis of 7-10-Year-Old Children of Karachi from Nutritional-Status Perspective PDF
Acute Malnutrition in a Child Suffering from Cardiac Problems PDF
Optimal-Mass Management in Obese Children PDF
Hairstyle, Clothing and Footwear for Gymnastic Activities in the Primary-School Setting PDF
Effective Decision Making for Presence of Scoliosis PDF
Generating and Validating Growth-and-Obesity Roadmaps for the Pakistani Children PDF
KJ-Regression Model to Evaluate Optimal Masses of Extreme Cases PDF
Primary-Physical-Education Practices in Pakistan and England: Health and Safety Perspectives PDF
Stunting Induced by Wasting — Wasting Induced by Stunting: A Case Study PDF
A Method to Generate Growth-and-Obesity Profiles of Children of Still-Growing Parents PDF
Growth-and-Obesity Profiles of Children of Karachi using Box-Interpolation Method PDF
An Investigation of Growth Profiles of the Pakistani Children PDF

Conference Presentations for Researchers/Pediatricians/Nutritionists/Community-Health Scientists
Growth-and-Obesity Vector-Roadmaps of Children PDF
Growth-and-Obesity Enhanced-Roadmaps of Children PDF
Growth-and-Obesity Roadmaps of Children PDF

Seminar (Sports Day of Government College, Hyderabad, Pakistan)

Sports and Anthromathematics PDF
Additional File PDF (worked examples of quantitative estimates of wasting, obesity, stunting and tallness, optimal mass, body-mass index (BMI), estimated-adult BMI, physical losses of height and mass, pseudo-gains of height and mass, quantitative recommendations for gaining/reducing mass (wasted/obese child), under-nutrition (coexistence of wasting and stunting), over-nutrition (coexistence of obesity and tallness), acute malnutrition (severe wasting and stunting), energy-channelization I (coexistence of wasting and tallness), energy-channelization II (coexistence of obesity and stunting) and energy-channelization III (puberty-induced)

Training Resource
Manual for Obtaining Anthropometric Measurements PDF

Handout for Teachers
Is Your Child Growing All Right? PDF

Reference Documents
Formulae for Assigning Cumulative Scoliosis-Risk Weightage PDF
Extended Growth Tables and Extended Growth Charts PDF

Program in Sports and Anthromathematics
Pedagogical Challenges and Opportunities in Sport and Anthromathematics (in press)  PDF

Photo Gallery

Please visit the NGDS Photo Gallery.


During the course of this project the NGDS Team has developed:


Human-rights and ethical standards for conducting a research project involving minor subjects and parents with little or no education


Inexpensive, indigenously-built anthropometric instruments


Standardized-anthropometric techniques for obtaining reliable and reproducible measurements (manual prepared, containing step-by-step procedures as well as sources of error and hazard/injury)


Methods to generate Growth-and-Obesity Roadmaps of children based on heights of biological father and biological mother, without using X rays


Moiré fringe topography apparatus (a stereophotogrammetric technique) for somatotyping and screening of trunk deformities

Softwares have been developed to compute estimated-adult height, estimated-adult weight, statuses of stunting, wasting and obesity based on the standards released by
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA).

Cutoff height for induction into the Armed Forces of Pakistan:

Boys: 5 feet 4 inches (162.56 cm), corresponding to percentile value of 2.72.

Girls: 5 feet 2 inches (157.48 cm), corresponding to percentile value of 19.36.

Through the power of anthromathematics, the NGDS team may give an estimate of adult height and adult weight for a child, who is, just, 3- or 4-year old.

Dear Dr. Kamal,

Thank you for your kind words and encouragement
Your paper (Full Text of Journal Paper PDF) is, indeed, very interesting and I am discussing it with my colleagues.

Thank you once again for taking the time out and
making your notable contribution.

Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, S. I.

The Aga Khan University
November 18, 2002

Updated: May 21, 2016 (0000h UTC)
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