Comparing apples with apples: it is time for standardized reporting of neonatal nutrition and growth studies

B. E. Cormack, N. D. Embleton, J. B. van Goudoever, W. W. Hay, F. H. Bloomfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The ultimate goal of neonatal nutrition care is optimal growth, neurodevelopment, and long-term health for preterm babies. International consensus is that increased energy and protein intakes in the neonatal period improve growth and neurodevelopment, but after more than 100 y of research the optimum intakes of energy and protein remain unknown. We suggest an important factor contributing to the lack of progress is the lack of a standardized approach to reporting nutritional intake data and growth in the neonatal literature. We reviewed randomized controlled trials and observational studies documented in MEDLINE and the Web of Science from 2008 to 2015 that compared approximately 3 vs. 4 protein for preterm babies in the first month after birth. Consistency might be expected in the calculation of nutritional intake and assessment of growth outcomes in this relatively narrow scope of neonatal nutrition research. Twenty-two studies were reviewed. There was substantial variation in methods used to estimate and calculate nutritional intakes and in the approaches used in reporting these intakes and measures of infant growth. Such variability makes comparisons amongst studies difficult and meta-analysis unreliable. We propose the StRONNG Checklist-Standardized Reporting Of Neonatal Nutrition and Growth to address these issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)810-820
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Research
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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