News on DRVs – things are changing

Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) describe the distribution of requirements for energy and nutrients in a population.

SACN has recommended

Daily calorie requirements for men go up from 2550 to 2650 and for women from 1940 to 2079.

These recommendations are for healthy people with BMI of 22.5 – average in UK is BMI of 27.

The larger you are the more calories you require as there is more tissue and bulk.

Teenagers according to evidence need more calories as they have higher level of activity.

Pregnancy remains at just under 200 calories extra a day for the last 3 months of pregnancy and breastfeeding burns 335 calories a day.

Most of our daily calorie intake is needed to keep us ticking over and maintain body temperature.

They are not recommendations or goals for individuals.

Download this excellent pdf from Nutrition Requirements_Revised Oct 2016

In order to take account of the range of nutritional requirements in a population, there are 3 DRVs:

1. Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) – the average requirement of energy or a nutrient in a group of people, for example, 50 per cent will require less and 50 per cent will require more.
2. Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) – the amount of a nutrient that is likely to meet the needs of most (97.5 per cent) of the population.
3. Lower Reference Nutrient Intake (LRNI) – the amount of a nutrient that is likely to meet the needs of only a small number (2.5 per cent) of people in the population with low requirements.

RNIs, which are set at the upper end of nutrient requirements, were not set for energy because, unlike other nutrients, an intake of energy in excess of requirements can have adverse effects in terms of weight gain.  Requirements for energy intake will also depend on energy expenditure.  A chronic excess of dietary energy intake over energy expenditure is related to overweight and obesity.  Recommendations for energy were therefore set as EARs for different population groups and were based on estimates of energy expenditure.

The UK DRVs for energy have recently been reviewed by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).
SACN’s report updates the EAR values from the Department of Health’s 1991 report, which may be of relevance for our nutritional analysis programme.

SACN website

A pre-publication version of the report is available on the SACN website and can be accessed at the following link:

SACN Dietary Reference Values for Energy






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