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



Median Body Mass Index (kg/m2)

Reference Height, cm (in)

Reference Weightb kg (lb)

Male, female

2–6 mo

64 (25)

7 (16)


7–11 mo

72 (28)

9 (20)

1–3 yr

91 (36)

13 (29)

4–8 yr


118 (46)

22 (48)


9–13 yr


147 (58)

40 (88)


14–18 yr


174 (68)

64 (142)

19–30 yr


176 (69)

76 (166)


9–13 yr


148 (58)

40 (88)


14–18 yr


163 (64)

57 (125)

19–30 yr


163 (64)

61 (133)

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

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

previous reports are given in Table B-1. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity in adults and children (DHHS, 1996), use of such population data is of concern. Thus recent data providing heights and body mass indexes (BMIs) for adults (Kuczmarski et al., 2000) and new growth charts for infants and children have allowed the development of new reference heights and weights in this report that should more closely approximate actual weights based on low risk of chronic disease and adequate growth for children. These new values are used in this report when reference values are needed, and are discussed in Chapter 1 (see Table 1-1).

The earlier values were obtained as follows: the median heights for the life stage and gender groups through age 30 years were identified, and the median weights for these heights were based on reported median BMI for the same individuals. Since there is no evidence that weight should change as adults age if activity is maintained, the reference weights for adults aged 19 through 30 years were applied to all adult age groups.

The most recent nationally representative data available for Canadians (from the 1970–1972 Nutrition Canada Survey [Demirjian, 1980]) were also reviewed. In general, median heights of children

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