National Academies Press: OpenBook

Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements (2006)


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Suggested Citation:"PART II--ENERGY, MACRONUTRIENTS, WATER, AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY." Institute of Medicine. 2006. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11537.
Page 69

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INTRODUCTION 69 PART II ENERGY, MACRONUTRIENTS, WATER, AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY P art II of this publication takes information from the DRI reports titled Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (2002/2005) and Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate (2005) and presents nutrient reference values for carbohydrates, fiber, fatty acids, protein, amino acids, and water, as well as recommendations for energy, fat, cholesterol, and physical activity. “Macronutrients, Healthful Diets, and Physical Activity” begins with a re- view of the available data regarding the relationships of carbohydrates, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids, collectively known as macronutrients, and physical activity and energy to major chronic diseases. It will introduce the term Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR), which is a range of intake for a particular energy source that is associated with reduced risk of chronic disease. AMDRs are set for fat, carbohydrate, protein, and n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. “Energy” introduces the term Estimated Energy Requirement (EER), which is defined as the average dietary energy intake that is predicted to maintain energy balance in a healthy individual of a defined age, gender, height, weight, and level of physical activity consistent with good health. “Physical Activity” provides recommendations for levels of physical activity associated with a nor- mal body mass index and reduced risk of chronic disease. The remaining chap- ters discuss data on carbohydrates (sugars and starches), fiber, fats and fatty acids, cholesterol, protein and amino acids, and water. In these chapters, AIs are provided for Total Fiber, linoleic acid and a-linolenic acid, and water, and EARs and RDAs are provided for carbohydrate, and protein. No ULs were set for any of the macronutrients or for water.

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Widely regarded as the classic reference work for the nutrition, dietetic, and allied health professions since its introduction in 1943, Recommended Dietary Allowances has been the accepted source in nutrient allowances for healthy people. Responding to the expansion of scientific knowledge about the roles of nutrients in human health, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, in partnership with Health Canada, has updated what used to be known as Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) and renamed their new approach to these guidelines Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs).

Since 1998, the Institute of Medicine has issued eight exhaustive volumes of DRIs that offer quantitative estimates of nutrient intakes to be used for planning and assessing diets applicable to healthy individuals in the United States and Canada. Now, for the first time, all eight volumes are summarized in one easy-to-use reference volume, Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Reference for Dietary Planning and Assessment. Organized by nutrient for ready use, this popular reference volume reviews the function of each nutrient in the human body, food sources, usual dietary intakes, and effects of deficiencies and excessive intakes. For each nutrient of food component, information includes:

  • Estimated average requirement and its standard deviation by age and gender.
  • Recommended dietary allowance, based on the estimated average requirement and deviation.
  • Adequate intake level, where a recommended dietary allowance cannot be based on an estimated average requirement.
  • Tolerable upper intake levels above which risk of toxicity would increase.
  • Along with dietary reference values for the intakes of nutrients by Americans and Canadians, this book presents recommendations for health maintenance and the reduction of chronic disease risk.

Also included is a "Summary Table of Dietary Reference Intakes," an updated practical summary of the recommendations. In addition, Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Reference for Dietary Planning and Assessment provides information about:

  • Guiding principles for nutrition labeling and fortification
  • Applications in dietary planning
  • Proposed definition of dietary fiber
  • A risk assessment model for establishing upper intake levels for nutrients
  • Proposed definition and plan for review of dietary antioxidants and related compounds

Dietitians, community nutritionists, nutrition educators, nutritionists working in government agencies, and nutrition students at the postsecondary level, as well as other health professionals, will find Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Reference for Dietary Planning and Assessment an invaluable resource.


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