|Title of host publication||International Encyclopedia of Public Health|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
This article provides an overview of world prevalence and distribution of low birth weight. The concept of birth weight for gestational age is developed with discussion of terminology, definitions, and reference standards used to define fetal growth restriction. The causes and possible mechanisms of fetal growth restriction are detailed with emphasis on maternal undernutrition and malaria in endemic areas for developing populations and smoking and placental dysfunction for developed populations. The life course consequences and mechanisms relating to the outcomes including intergenerational effects are briefly reviewed. The detection of fetal growth restriction, the difficulties of prevention, and the limitations of management are presented.