Criteria for updating current DRIs

  • A strategy for updating DRIs was identified by many as an urgent matter.

  • Some suggested that several venues may operate simultaneously and that relevant criteria need to be established; resources were acknowledged as a stumbling block.

Failure to establish reference values: No decision is not an option

  • An educated estimate from scientists was recognized as a better alternative to not developing a reference value: A value derived from scientific judgment offers a basis for government managers who must act regardless of the existence of a value.

  • Interest was expressed in determining ways to specify relative uncertainty surrounding reference values and ways to identify controversies and concerns.

Stakeholder input

  • Considerable opportunities for input were noted.

  • The rigor and independence of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) process were recognized.

Conceptual Underpinnings

Uses and purpose of DRIs

  • The overall goal of planning and assessing for groups and individuals was affirmed.

  • Concern was expressed that the endpoints selected cause confusion about what the DRIs are intended to accomplish.

Values expressed

  • Estimated Average Requirements (EARs) and Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) have been useful.

  • Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) were noted as useful to many, but were also characterized as arbitrary, misused, and more appropriately established using situation-specific criteria.

  • Adequate Intakes (AIs) were controversial and a source of confusion. Some saw no other option; some preferred establishing an EAR with an indication of uncertainty; some suggested that AIs can be relevant to use with endpoints based on chronic disease.

  • Some commented that consideration should be given to whether the DRI process should focus on a core set of “numbers” needed versus providing reference values for all applications.

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