The Ideal Body Weight for a 7-Year-Old

Many parents wonder whether their child is at a healthy weight. Your pediatrician or healthcare provider will likely use a growth chart to monitor your child's weight and height at each office visit. While each young person is different, there are established ranges of normal weight based on a child's age, sex and height. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides reference charts to monitor and assess weight in children from age 2 to 20 years 123.

Weight Range

CDC provides weight-for-age growth charts for boys and girls aged 2 to 20 123. The 5th and 95th percentiles on these charts are generally considered the outermost limits for a child who is growing normally. Based on age and sex alone, the CDC growth charts indicate that a 7-year-old boy weighing 41 to 68 pounds is within the 5th to 95th percentile range. The 50th percentile for 7-year-old boys is 51 pounds. This means half of healthy boys this age weight less than 51 pounds and half weigh more. A 7-year-old girl weighing 40 to 69 pounds is within the 5th to 95th percentile range, according to CDC's growth charts. The 50th percentile for 7-year-old girls is 50 pounds.

Body Mass Index

Just as it is for adults, height is a major consideration in determining whether a child's weight is within a healthy range. For this reason, CDC recommends using body mass index (BMI) to determine whether a child's weight is normal. BMI takes into account both the height and weight of the child. Separate charts are used for boys and girls aged 2 to 20, as a child's sex also influences healthy BMI ranges.

Interpretation of BMI differs for children and adults 45. BMI charts for children use ranges based on percentiles to determine whether a youngster is underweight, overweight or normal for the child's age. A BMI between the 5th and 85th percentile is considered normal for children aged 2 to 20. For a 7-year-old boy, this is a BMI of approximately 13.7 to 17.4, with a 50th percentile value of 15.5. For a 7-year-old girl, the 5th to 85th percentile range is approximately 13.5 to 17.6, with a 50th percentile value of 15.4.

Talk with your child's healthcare provider if you have concerns about your child's weight. While weight ranges based on age-based growth and BMI charts can help identify a weight problem, each child is different and there may be other factors to consider in determining whether your child's weight is within a healthy range. If your child is deemed underweight or overweight, your healthcare provider can make recommendations to help get your youngster back on track.

Reviewed and revised by: Tina M. St. John, M.D.

The Wrap Up

BMI charts for children use ranges based on percentiles to determine whether a youngster is underweight, overweight or normal for the child's age. A 7-year-old girl weighing 40 to 69 pounds is within the 5th to 95th percentile range, according to CDC's growth charts. For this reason, CDC recommends using body mass index (BMI) to determine whether a child's weight is normal.

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