on applications in dietary assessment (IOM, 2000a) and in planning (IOM, 2003), and the preambles, text, and other background materials of appropriate labeling regulations from the United States and Canada. The committee presents its recommendations as guiding principles—it does not provide nutrient values. Any numbers in the text related to the guiding principles are illustrative only. It is not the committee’s responsibility, or its intent, to make regulatory recommendations. Rather the guiding principles provided in this report were developed as science-based recommendations for the sponsors to accept or reject as appropriate to their own activities.


Using the Percent Daily Value

GUIDING PRINCIPLE 1. Nutrition information in the Nutrition Facts box should continue to be expressed as percent Daily Value (% DV).

Section 2(b)(1)(A) of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (NLEA) (104 Stat. 2353, 2356) requires that nutrition labeling be designed so that it “… enables the public to readily observe and comprehend such information and to understand its relative significance in the context of a total daily diet.” The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed the percent Daily Value (% DV) concept to meet this requirement. The % DV was modeled on the “percentage of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance,” an approach used in the 1973 version of nutrition labeling to help consumers understand and compare the relative amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals in food. Studies in the United States and Canada do, in fact, support this (see FDA, 1993a; NIN, 1999), although increased educational efforts are needed to optimize its potential use as a consumer tool (Levy et al., 2000). The % DV was selected after careful study, including consumer research and review of public comments (FDA, 1993c). The committee found the rationale for the use of % DV compelling and offers no alternative approaches to the DV concept. The committee recommends that the nutrient content per serving of a food be expressed as a % DV whenever it is possible to establish this value for a nutrient. The committee notes that when it refers to the DV throughout this report, it recognizes

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement