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an indication of the adequacy of his intake of other nutrients by comparing them to the appropriate DRIs. The assessments that might be made are shown in Table 3-6 for several nutrients from Mr. G's dietary record analysis.

Application 2: Assessing the Diet of a Young Woman Planning a Pregnancy


Ms. T, who is a health-conscious 30-year-old woman, consults a nutritionist in private practice. Before her visit, she keeps a 7-day record of her food and supplement intake, which has been analyzed using a computer program.


Before she becomes pregnant, Ms. T wants to know whether her diet is optimal.


With the caveat that 7 days is not long enough to provide accurate information on her usual nutrient intake, her mean observed intake can be evaluated relative to the DRIs. For nutrients with an Estimated Average Requirement (EAR), the nutritionist should calculate the confidence of adequacy using the algorithms described in Appendix B and summarized in this chapter. For nutrients with an Adequate Intake (AI), her intake was adequate if it was likely to exceed the AI (as concluded from the test described in this chapter), whereas no conclusive assessment can be made if her intake was below the AI. Finally, if her intake was not below the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) (as concluded from the test described in this chapter), one would conclude that her usual intake is excessive and she is potentially at risk of adverse effects. This assessment is not appropriate for nutrients with highly skewed requirement distributions (e.g., iron) or large coefficients of variation (CVs) of intake (e.g., vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and vitamin E).

Note that data on nutrient intake in relation to the DRIs are only one component of the assessment, and would be interpreted in conjunction with other types of information before counseling was offered. For example, additional information could include: her recent weight history (as an indicator of the likely adequacy of her

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