that the DV is a single term that refers to Reference Daily Intakes (RDIs) and Daily Reference Values (DRVs), which have distinctly different derivations and scientific bases.1

Defining the Population

DRIs have been established for 22 distinct life stage and gender groups. These groups were created because the available data indicated that each group has a unique set of nutrient needs that differentiates it from the others (see “Life Stage Groups” in Chapter 4). When using the DRI reports to generate reference values for nutrition labeling of the food supply, the population base needs to better represent the general population through a combination of the distributions represented by these life stage and gender groups. The committee therefore recommends using a base population of individuals 4 years of age and older, excluding pregnant and lactating women, to represent the general population. By the time active children reach 4 years of age, their energy requirements are similar to the energy needs of small, less-active adults (IOM, 2002a). Also, in an earlier review, FDA reported that by 4 years of age children’s food-consumption patterns are similar to those of adults (FDA, 1993c). The committee considered whether current scientific information indicates that children in North America are assuming adult eating patterns at a younger age. However it did not find evidence from food-intake studies to support moving this age division for the general population (Birch, 1999; Milner and Allison, 1999; Nicklas et al., 1991). The committee did identify four distinctive life stage groups that should be considered for nutrition labeling; they are defined in Guiding Principle 8.


The RDI “… denote(s) those nutrients whose label reference values have been derived from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) and Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intakes” (FDA 1993c, p. 2208). DRVs are label reference values originally established for eight nutrients for which there were no NAS RDAs at the time. Based on a body of scientific literature linking diet and the risk of chronic disease, FDA established DRVs as label reference values for total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, total carbohydrate, dietary fiber, sodium, potassium, and protein based on a 2,000 calorie diet (FDA, 1993c).

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