A definition of the difference between a reference and a standard in relation to human growth

"A reference describes the growth pattern of a defined population, whereas a standard defines a recommended pattern of growth that has been associated empirically with specified health outcomes and the minimization of long-term risks of disease." (154)

From: Butte, N. F., Garza, C., & de, O. M. (January 01, 2007). Evaluation of the feasibility of international growth standards for school-aged children and adolescents. The Journal of Nutrition, 137, 1, 153-7.