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EAR for Girls

9–13 years

5.7 mg/day of iron

14–18 years

7.9 mg/day of iron

The RDA has been set by modeling the components of iron requirements, estimating the requirement for absorbed iron at the ninety-seven and one-half percentile, and with use of an upper limit of 18 percent iron absorption and rounding (see Appendix Tables I-3 and I-4).

RDA for Boys

9–13 years

8 mg/day of iron

14–18 years

11 mg/day of iron

RDA for Girls

9–13 years

8 mg/day of iron

14–18 years

15 mg/day of iron

Special Considerations

Adjustment for Growth Spurt. During the growth spurt, median rates of growth of boys might be double those seen in 11-year-olds; for girls the difference is smaller (about a 50 percent increase). The needs for absorbed iron associated with growth (increase in body weight) were estimated as 0.035 mg/g weight gained for boys and 0.030 mg/g weight gained for girls. The additional weight gain in the peak growth spurt years was estimated as the difference between the maximum and average growth rate (Table 9-9), which is 15.2 g/day ([10.43–4.87 kg/year] × 1,000 g/kg ÷ 365 day/year) for boys and 6.76 g/day ([7.24–4.77 kg/year] × 1,000 g/kg ÷ 365 days/year) for girls. These represent demands of 0.53 mg/day of iron for boys and 0.20 mg/day for girls. Therefore, the increased requirement for dietary iron is 2.9 mg/day for boys identified as currently in the growth spurt, and for girls the increase is approximately 1.1 mg/day.

Menstruation Before Age 14 Years. In the United States, the average age of menarche is about 12.5 years. It is reasonable to assume that by age 14 almost all girls will have started to menstruate, and hence the estimates of iron requirements should include menstrual losses at that time. It would be unreasonable to assume that no girls are menstruating before age 14 years. For girls under age 14 who have started to menstruate, it would be appropriate to consider a median



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