TABLE 4-2 New Reference Heights and Weights for Children and Adults in the United States



Previous Median Body Mass Indexa, kg/m2

New Median Body Mass Indexb, kg/m2

New Median Reference Heightb, cm (in)

New Reference Weightc, kg (lb)

Male, female

2–6 mo

62 (24)

6 (13)


7–12 mo

71 (28)

9 (20)


1–3 y

86 (34)

12 (27)


4–8 y



115 (45)

20 (44)


9–13 y



144 (57)

36 (79)


14–18 y



174 (68)

61 (134)


19–30 y



177 (70)

70 (154)


9–13 y



144 (57)

37 (81)


14–18 y



163 (64)

54 (119)


19–30 y



163 (64)

57 (126)

aTaken from male and female median body mass index and height-for-age data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–1994; used in earlier Dietary Reference Intake reports (IOM, 1997, 1998, 2000a, 2000b, 2001).

bTaken from new data on male and female median body mass index and height-for-age data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics (CDC/NCHS) Growth Charts (Kuczmarski et al., 2000).

cCalculated from CDC/NCHS Growth Charts (Kuczmarski et al., 2000), median body mass index, and median height for ages 4 through 19 years.

Each EAR and AI in the DRI report series is described in terms of the selected criterion or indicator of adequacy. The potential role of the nutrients in the reduction of disease risk was considered in developing the EARs. With the acquisition of additional data relating intake more directly to chronic disease or disability, more sensitive and reliable indicators or criteria may be validated and thus the criterion for setting the EAR may change.

The DRI process is iterative in nature; with each set of nutrients the DRI concept evolves slightly, but with future science the DRI concept may change significantly. In terms of nutrition labeling, when the Food and Drug Administration devised the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowances in the early 1970s there was national concern about the quality of the food supply and the RDAs were set as reference values to prevent deficiency disease. In the DRIs a requirement is defined as the lowest continuing intake level of a nutrient that will maintain a defined level of nutriture in an individual. This

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