a Adapted from Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), 1988–1994.
b In kg/m2.
c Calculated from body mass index and height for ages 4 through 8 years and older.
Similarly, median weights beyond age 1 year derived from the recent survey in the United States (NHANES III, 1988 to 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 body mass index for young adults (e.g., a median of 22.6 for Canadian women compared with 22.8 for U.S. women) resulted in similar values, indicating greater concordance between the two surveys by adulthood.
The reference weights chosen for this report were based on the most recent data set available from either country, recognizing that earlier surveys in Canada indicated shorter stature and lower weights during adolescence than did surveys in the United States.
Reference weights are used primarily when setting the Estimated Average Requirements (EARs), Adequate Intakes (AIs), or Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) for children or when relating the nutrient needs of adults to body weight. For the 4- to 8-year-old age group, it can be assumed that a small 4-year-old child will require less than the EAR and that a large 8-year-old will require more than