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New Reference Heights and Weights

As is described in Appendix B, the DRI framework is an iterative process that was initiated in 1994. Thus reference heights and weights used in some of the earlier DRI reports for the U.S. and Canadian populations (IOM, 1997, 1998, 2000b, 2001) were developed based on data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey on body mass index (BMI) for children and young adults (IOM, 1997). With the recent publication of new U.S.-based growth charts for infants and children and the introduction of BMI recommendations for adults (Kuczmarski et al., 2000), reference heights and weights for adults and children have been updated and are now used in more recent DRI reports (IOM, 2002/2005). Besides being more current, these new reference heights and weights are more representative of the U.S. and Canadian populations. Table 1-1 provides these updated values. Appendix B includes information about the reference values that were used in the earlier DRI reports.

TABLE 1-1 Current Reference Heights and Weights for Children and Adults in the United States

Sex

Age

Median Body Mass Indexa (kg/m2)

Median Reference Heighta cm (in)

Reference Weightb 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

15.3

115 (45)

20 (44)

Male

9–13 y

17.2

144 (57)

36 (79)

 

14–18 y

20.5

174 (68)

61 (134)

19–30 y

22.5

177 (70)

70 (154)

Female

9–13 y

17.4

144 (57)

37 (81)

 

14–18 y

20.4

163 (64)

54 (119)

19–30 y

21.5

163 (64)

57 (126)

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

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



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