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Dietary Reference Intakes Research Synthesis Workshop Summary
rized the progress on the research recommendations. For convenience, the report’s 29 research recommendations are grouped into four broad categories:
Improvements to the DRIs themselves
Improvements in dietary assessment methods
Better statistical methods
Tools to help professionals use the DRIs correctly
A brief discussion of each category follows, along with highlights of 12 of the general recommendations (the recommendations are italicized).
Recommendations That Were Related to the DRIs Themselves
Most of the recommendations have been covered by previous speakers, but they are summarized below along with Dr. Murphy’s assessment of the progress made in reducing the research gap.
Obtain better data on the distribution of requirements. To determine the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), one needs some information on the variability of requirements. Many assumptions were necessary, and there is still a need to improve those estimates. Little progress has been made.
Replace Adequate Intakes (AIs) with Estimated Average Requirements (EARs) and RDAs.Figure 11-1 depicts the possible placement of a “mythical” AI on a graph showing the frequency distribution of individual requirements. When the DRI nutrient panels did not have enough information to set an EAR and an RDA, they set this single number—the AI. Because one doesn’t know anything about the distribution of requirements, one cannot use the paradigm that was developed for estimating the probability of adequacy or the prevalence of inadequacy. One only can look at whether mean intakes are at the AI. In most cases, the AI probably is larger than the RDA. Therefore, the AI is not a very satisfactory DRI value in terms of dietary assessment. Based on previous presentations during this workshop, some good progress is anticipated on replacing some of the AIs with EARs as time goes by.