people and used as a guide for individual intake when there is insufficient scientific evidence to calculate an RDA for a specific nutrient; and

  • Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL), which is based on a risk assessment model and used in the highest average daily intake likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects.

The DRI report series was released by the IOM between 1997 and 2004. The 2002–2005 IOM report provided EER levels, which are suggested calorie7 intakes based on age, sex, and physical activity level, and DRIs for carbohydrate and fat (including saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats), cholesterol, total protein, and individual amino acids (IOM, 2002–2005). This report introduced the concept of an Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR), representing a range of intakes for carbohydrates, fats, and protein expressed as a percentage of calorie intake. Consumption outside the AMDR is associated with an increased risk of chronic disease and insufficient nutrient intake (IOM, 2002–2005).

Energy intakes based on the EER for proposed food consumption patterns have been developed for boys and girls ages 2 to 18 years for three physical activity levels—sedentary, low active, and active (USDA, 2003a; Appendix D, Table D-1). The DRI report on electrolytes and water provides total water AI levels for children and adolescents of different ages, which can be used as guidelines for total fluid intake obtained from beverages and foods (IOM, 2005a). Macronutrient and micronutrient recommendations for children and adolescents from the DRI reports are summarized in Appendix D, Tables D-2 and D-3. Many EAR, RDA, and AI levels for children and adolescents are estimates or extrapolations from data on adults (IOM, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002–2005).

Finding: More certain determinations of nutritional requirements for children and adolescents await the development of better techniques and data sets.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are developed jointly by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and draw from recommendations of a nonfederal Dietary Advisory Committee. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans present summary dietary recommendations for the public based on current scientific evidence and medical knowledge. They represent the government


In this report, the term calories is used synonymously with kilocalories.

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