Posted by JR on July 05, 1999 at 20:08:25
What is the average weight for an 8 Year old girl? And how do you limit food consumption when the child says she is still hungry? She seems a bit overweight for her age but her mother said the doctor says "she is fine".
Posted by HVM M.D. - EV on July 08, 1999 at 23:51:45
Dear JR -
Thank you for your question about the weight of an 8 year old girl.
I think before making any numerical statements - it is VERY important to know that children come in many different body sizes and shapes. And aside from any absolute weight - the pattern of weight gain, the child's bone structure, and the family's growth history all need to be noted. If a child is truly "heavy" for his/her age - or if there is a suspicion of that - I would spend time with a nutritionist looking at food choices to build longterm healthy habits. They say that our eating patterns begin with the grocery cart - i.e., what we bring home is what our children will eat. Also - role modeling good habits sets a wonderful example for all children.
Also, remember it's not only what we eat that determines our weight - but also how much energy we use through our daily living and exercise.
So - if you are concerned about a child's weight - I would suggest beginning by trying to establish healthy eating habits - with the help of a nutritionist - and by making sure that regular exercise (minimum 3 times a week) becomes the norm. For children needing exercise I usually suggest that their parents join them in the chosen activity - make it fun - even consider a small reward.
Now for numbers - for an average 8 year old female - the 50th % for height is 49.75 inches, weight 54.75 pounds. Likewise - the 95th percentile would be 53.5 inches for height, 76.5 pounds for weight. But I must advise you - do be careful about how you use these numbers. In the end - the child's doctor should be the best resource for assessing weight.
Hope this helps. Dr. EV.
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