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standard deviation of intakes based on food alone may not be the same as those based on food plus supplements. For other nutrients, ULs refer only to nutrient intake from food fortificants, supplements, and pharmacological products. In these cases, the proposed methods are even less reliable, as currently there are no estimates of the within-person standard deviation of intakes from supplement use alone.


The following examples show how the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) might be used as part of an assessment of an individual's diet. Note that information other than intake relative to the DRIs is also considered, and in many instances may provide data that are more useful in the assessment than are the nutrient intakes.

Application 1. Assessing the Diet of an Older Individual in an Assisted Living Setting

Background and Data

Mr. G is a 78-year-old man who lives in an assisted-living institution where he eats most of his meals in the dining room. He does not currently take supplements. By observing what he eats, it is possible to obtain direct estimates of his dietary intake, rather than rely on his reports alone, and this is done for several days. Anthropometric data (weight changes), physical activity level, and other information on his health status are available.


The nutritionist who is a consultant to the assisted living facility wants to determine whether Mr. G's food intake is sufficient to meet his nutrient needs.


Because it is difficult to determine energy balance, even from several days of intake, the nutritionist determines whether Mr. G is maintaining weight. This is a much more direct method of assessing the adequacy of his energy intake than estimating his caloric intake. In addition to such non-dietary evaluations, the nutritionist obtains

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