1993a, 1993b, 1993c). The Nutrition Facts box and other mandated label changes strengthened the label’s ability to serve as an important resource for helping consumers select food that could contribute to a healthful diet.

The current percent Daily Values (% DVs) that appear in the Nutrition Facts box in the United States are based in part on recommended reference values for nutrients from the 1968 Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) (NRC, 1968). In Canada the nutrient information that appears on the label is based on the 1983 Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) (Canada, 1983b).

Since 1997 the Institute of Medicine has issued a series of nutrient reference values that are collectively termed Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) (IOM, 1997, 1998, 2000b, 2001, 2002a), which include four categories: the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR), the Adequate Intake (AI), the RDA, and the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) (see Box ES-1). These reference values are replacements for the former RDAs in the United States and the RNIs in Canada and as such represent a harmonization of the nutrient recommendations of the two countries. In addition to the DRIs, an Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) was developed for macronutrients.1

As a result of the change in the concept for setting reference values for nutrients, the Committee on Use of Dietary Reference Intakes in Nutrition Labeling was convened to address a number of questions, including: Is the one reference value represented by % DV the most helpful approach for nutrition labeling for consumers? Is it best to derive one new reference value for nutrition labeling for each nutrient or a set of values that address the diversity of needs for various life stage and gender groups? Which of the four categories of DRIs must be incorporated into the basis for the new food reference values? What approach should be taken to integrate the new DRIs into the concept of discretionary fortification of food? Is the same reference value approach used for labeling also the best scientific approach for discretionary fortification?

This report focuses on how the DRIs, and the science for each nutrient in the DRI reports, can be used to develop appropriate reference values for nutrition labeling. The primary scientific resources for this report are therefore the DRI reports (IOM, 1997,


An AMDR is a range of intakes for a particular energy source that is associated with reduced risk of chronic disease but also provides adequate intakes of essential nutrients.

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