Distinctive Life Stage Groups

GUIDING PRINCIPLE 8. While the general population is best identified as all individuals 4 years of age and older, the committee recognized the existence of four distinctive life stages during which individuals’ nutrient needs are physiologically different from the main population. These are: infancy, toddlers ages 1 to 3 years, pregnancy, and lactation. Development of Daily Values (DVs) for these groups should be guided by the following principles:

Infancy (< 1 y): one set of DVs based on the Estimated Average Requirements (EARs) or Adequate Intakes (AIs) of older infants (7–12 mo).

Toddlers (1–3 y): one set of DVs based on the EARs or AIs.

Pregnancy: one set of DVs based on the population-weighted EARs or AIs for all DRI pregnancy groups.

Lactation: one set of DVs based on the population-weighted EARs or AIs for all DRI lactation groups.

A DV based on a population-weighted value of the EAR or AI for all life stage and gender groups will reflect the actual contribution of a particular food to the total nutrient needs of the general population. However, individuals in the life stages listed in Guiding Principle 8, have nutrient needs that are physiologically different from those of the general population. A DV based on a population-weighted EAR or AI for the population of people 4 years of age and older would overestimate the nutrient contribution of a food for infants and toddlers and underestimate the contribution for pregnant and lactating women. Therefore the committee recommends separate DVs for food made for these four life stage groups.

Children Less Than 4 Years of Age

Infants (< 1 y) and Toddlers (1–3 y) in the United States. In the United States FDA has established substantially different labeling regulations for food manufactured for children under 4 years of age than that manufactured for populations 4 years of age and older. The younger age group is separated into those who are “persons not more than 12 months of age” and those who are 1 to 3 years of age (specifically 13–47 months) (21 C.F.R. 107.30, 107.100). In this report, these groups are referred to as “infant” and “toddler,” respectively.

Current dietary recommendations are that human milk should be the sole food source for infants until about 6 months of age and

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