The medical information in this post was provided by Monica Fisher, M.D., who is a licensed pediatrician.
Kids come in all shapes and sixes. I have a nephew who recently turned 7 year old and my sister-in-law was concerned he was a little small for his age. I gathered information from a medical professional, as well as from research on my own. This is what I found.
So, how much should a 7-year-old weigh? The average 7-year-old weighs around 50 lbs, boy or girl. However, there are many children who are not “average.” It is better to use BMI as a measurement of a child’s growth, as it takes into account weight for height.
Having concerns about a child’s weight is pretty normal, but it is important to over-obsess about his or her weight. If you truly have worries, talk to a doctor and make sure your kid is getting the proper nutrition.
By the way, if you want to improve how you communicate with and understand your child, I can’t recommend this book from Amazon any more highly. It completely changed my thought process.
The Average Weight of a 7-Year-Old
The average weight of a 7-year-old is around 50 lbs. This is the same for both boys and girls. Give or take a few pounds for a child. Something else to consider is if your child just turned 7 or is he or she is closer to turning 8 years old will affect this as well.
This average weight is calculated with the average height of 4 ft (48 inches) and not every 7-year-old is going to be this height. This is where we encounter problems.
If you have a 7-year-old who is shorter than 4 feet tall, is pretty normal for him or her to weigh less.
When you take your child into the doctor’s office, starting from birth, they will tell you what percentile he or she fits into. Every time they will tell you. So when a child goes into the doctors at 7, the 50th percentile is 50 lbs.
There is some leeway when it comes to a healthy weight as well. Children, just like adults come in all shapes and sizes. Don’t sweat it if your child is slightly less or slightly more.
This weight may not be an ideal goal for your child, however. It may seem this way to parents who are concerned but something that needs to be accounted for is height.
Don’t assume a child is obese or overweight simply because he or she weighs more than 50 lbs and is 7. Height greatly affects how much a child should weigh.
The most important thing to realize when checking up on your child’s weight is the overall health. A round stomach isn’t a sign that a child is unhealthy. In contrast, because a 7-year-old is 48 inches tall and 50 lbs right on the dot, it isn’t a sure thought to assume he or she is getting all the right nutrients.
A great way to calculate whether your child is at his or her individual ideal weight is to use the Body Mass Index or BMI.
Using the Body Mass Index
The body mass index is a tool that was invented by Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, which is why it is also sometimes called Quetelet Index.
Using this as a way to measure the normality of your child’s weight is more efficient that just saying the average weight of a 7-year-old because height is put into the equation.
The best way to figure out if your child is at a normal rate is to use this index. According to Livestrong,
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.livestrong.com
So this index is an attempt to put a person into a category based on height, age, and weight. The categories are: underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese.
This system is not perfect, because it doesn’t take into consideration muscle mass verses fat. Muscle is denser than fat and therefore weighs more. However, BMI is still widely used by doctors to get the best idea of whether a child is overweight or not.
A doctor may give your child a test at the doctor’s office instead of just giving a percentile based on only the weight.
If you want to check with your child at home, here is a link supplied by the CDC.
Something the BMI test is not is a diagnostic test. Doing a quick BMI check on your child and getting an overweight result does not diagnose him or her with a disease.
The CDC says, “… a child may have a high BMI for their age and sex, but to determine if excess fat is a problem, a health care provider would need to perform further assessments.”
The BMI is a tool available but should not be used as a way to body-shame.
Some people suggest taking the BMI test with your child to make your child feel less judged and more like it is a tool and a cool calculation process.
If you have concerns, always talk to a healthcare professional about your child. Searching online and using calculations are useful but your child is an individual and getting a specific answer is going to be more helpful and accurate.
Why Weight is Important
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, checking a child’s weight by using BMI is important because weight related problems are common and dangerous. They say,
“In children, a high amount of body fat can lead to weight-related diseases and other health issues and being underweight can also put one at risk for health issues.”CDC
There is an epidemic in the world with weight problems. Obesity is more common than it has ever been and is, unfortunately, a problem for many children. The CDC has said that obesity affects over 13 million children in the United States.
However, overemphasizing weight is a problem as well. Studies have shown that parents who talk negatively about their child’s weight may do more harm than good. To read a study that links the problems together, click here.
Being underweight is a problem too. It can be hard on the body to function without enough nourishment. Problems from being underweight include:
- lower immune system
- growth and development issues
So, there needs to be a good balance between the two. Kids are not always in control of what he or she actually puts into their bodies, which is why it is so important to be a good role model as a parent.
What to Do If Your Child is Not in the Ideal Range for Weight
If your 7-year-old is not in the ideal range for their BMI, the best thing to do is not overact or blame a child for his or her weight. Talk to a doctor to eliminate possibilities of illness’ or any other problems.
Professionals suggest talking about bodies in terms of health as opposed to pounds. A study, talked about in this New York Times article, says parents should avoid talking about weight because it can negatively impact children down the road.
Instead, this study suggests that parents be body positive, and loving and teach more through example unless a child brings it up.
A great way to help a child become healthier in the weight department is to have healthy food in the house and eat meals together. Eating together is proven to lesson the chance of eating disorders later in life.
Also, exercise with your children. Show them that playing outdoors and being active is fun and not a chore. This works both with children who are underweight and overweight.
For more suggestions on how to help a 7-year-old who has weight problems, click here.
What is the average height of a 7-year-old? The typical height of a 7-year-old child is 48 inches tall. This is 4 feet tall. Height is variable among children.
What BMI is in the normal range for a 7-year-old? The BMI scores that are 13.5 – 17.5 fall into the category of normal weight. The range of weight that falls into the “normal weight” category for the average height of a 7-year-old is between 44 lbs and 58 lbs.