TABLE 4-1 Reference Heights and Weights for Children and Adults in the United States Used in the Vitamin and Element Dietary Reference Intake Reports

Sex

Age

Median Body Mass Index, kg/m2

Reference Height, cm (in)

Reference Weighta, kg (lb)

Male, female

2–6 mo

64 (25)

7 (16)

 

7–12 mo

72 (28)

9 (20)

 

1–3 y

91 (36)

13 (29)

 

4–8 y

15.8

118 (46)

22 (48)

Male

9–13 y

18.5

147 (58)

40 (88)

 

14–18 y

21.3

174 (68)

64 (142)

 

19–30 y

24.4

176 (69)

76 (166)

Female

9–13 y

18.3

148 (58)

40 (88)

 

14–18 y

21.3

163 (64)

57 (125)

 

19–30 y

22.8

163 (64)

61 (133)

aCalculated from body mass index and height for ages 4 through 8 years and older.

SOURCE: IOM (1997, 1998, 2000a, 2000b, 2001). Adapted from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–1994.

if activity is maintained, the reference weights for adults ages 19 through 30 years were applied to all adult age groups.

The most recent nationally representative data available for Canadians at the time (from the l970–1972 Nutrition Canada Survey [Demirjian, 1980]) were also reviewed. In general median heights of children from 1 year of age in the United States were greater by 3 to 8 cm (1 to 2.5 in) than those of children of the same age in Canada measured two decades earlier (Demirjian, 1980). This difference could be partly explained by approximations necessary to compare the two data sets, but more likely by a continuation of the secular trend of increased heights for age noted in the Nutrition Canada Survey when it compared data from the 1970–1972 survey with a 1953 national Canadian survey (Pett and Ogilvie, 1956).

Similarly, median weights beyond age 1 year derived from the then most recent survey in the United States (NHANES III, 1988–1994) were also greater than those obtained from the older Canadian survey (Demirjian, 1980). Differences were greatest during adolescence, ranging from 10 to 17 percent higher. The differences probably reflect the secular trend of earlier onset of puberty (Herman-Giddens et al., 1997) rather than differences in populations. Calculations of BMI for young adults (e.g., a median of 22.6 for



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