Reference Daily Intake
The Reference Daily Intake or Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) is the daily intake level of a nutrient that was considered in 1968 to be sufficient to meet the requirements of 97–98% of healthy individuals in every demographic in the United States. While developed in USA it has been used in other countries though it is not universally accepted.
The RDI is used to determine the Daily Value (DV) of foods, which is printed on nutrition facts labels (as %DV) in the United States and Canada, and is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada respectively.
The RDI is based on the older Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) from 1968; newer RDAs have since been introduced in the Dietary Reference Intake system, but the RDI is still used for nutrition labeling. The Food and Drug Administration has indicated that it plans to update the DVs based on the newer RDAs.
Food labeling reference tables
FDA issued Final Rule on changes to facts panel in July 2016. See: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2016-11867. The new Daily Values are on pages 903-906. New values can be used on labels now, but companies have until July 28, 2018 to be in compliance. In the interim, products with old or new facts panel content will be on market shelves at same time.
|Total fat||65 g changed to 78 g|
|Saturated fatty acids||20 g unchanged, stays 20 g|
|Cholesterol||300 mg unchanged, stays 300 mg|
|Sodium||2400 mg changed to 2300 mg|
|Potassium||3500 mg changed to 4700 mg|
|Total carbohydrate||300 g changed to 275 g|
|Added sugars||newly established at 50 g|
|Dietary fiber||25 g changed to 28 g|
|Protein||50 g unchanged, stays 50 g|
For vitamins and minerals, the old RDIs (old 100% Daily Values) are given in the following table, along with the more recent RDAs of the Dietary Reference Intakes (maximized over sex and age groups):
|Nutrient||RDI||highest RDA or DRI|
|Vitamin A||900 μg||900 μg|
|Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)||60 mg||90 mg|
|Calcium||1000 mg||1300 mg|
|Iron||18 mg||18 mg|
|Cholecalciferol (vitamin D)||400 IU (10 μg)||800 IU|
|Tocopherol (vitamin E)||30 IU||15 mg (33 IU of synthetic)|
|Vitamin K||80 μg||120 μg|
|Thiamin (vitamin B1)||1.5 mg||1.2 mg|
|Riboflavin (vitamin B2)||1.7 mg||1.3 mg|
|Niacin (vitamin B3)||20 mg||16 mg|
|Pyridoxine (vitamin B6)||2 mg||1.7 mg|
|Folate||400 μg||400 μg|
|Cobalamine (vitamin B12)||6 μg||2.4 μg|
|Biotin||300 μg||30 μg|
|Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)||10 mg||5 mg|
|Phosphorus||1000 mg||1250 mg|
|Iodine||150 μg||150 μg|
|Magnesium||400 mg||420 mg|
|Zinc||15 mg||11 mg|
|Selenium||70 μg||55 μg|
|Copper||2000 μg||900 μg|
|Manganese||2 mg||2.3 mg|
|Chromium||120 μg||35 μg|
|Molybdenum||75 μg||45 μg|
|Chloride||3400 mg||2300 mg|
The RDA was developed during World War II by Lydia J. Roberts, Hazel Stiebeling and Helen S. Mitchell, all part of a committee established by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to investigate issues of nutrition that might "affect national defense" (Nestle, 35). The committee was renamed the Food and Nutrition Board in 1941, after which they began to deliberate on a set of recommendations of a standard daily allowance for each type of nutrient. The standards would be used for nutrition recommendations for the armed forces, for civilians, and for overseas population who might need food relief. Roberts, Stiebeling, and Mitchell surveyed all available data, created a tentative set of allowances for "energy and eight nutrients", and submitted them to experts for review (Nestle, 35). The final set of guidelines, called RDAs for Recommended Dietary Allowances, were accepted in 1941. The allowances were meant to provide superior nutrition for civilians and military personnel, so they included a "margin of safety". Because of food rationing during the war, the food guides created by government agencies to direct citizens' nutritional intake also took food availability into account.
The Food and Nutrition Board subsequently revised the RDAs every five to ten years. Daily Values were established based on the 1968 RDAs and have not been updated as of 2016. The last four revisions of RDAs were published in 1968, 1974, 1980 and 1989. In 1997, at the suggestion of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy, RDAs became one part of a broader set of dietary guidelines called the Dietary Reference Intake used by both the United States and Canada.
Nutrition facts label
On May 20, 2016, the FDA published guidance for a new nutrition facts label for packaged foods to reflect updated scientific information. The new label is intended to make it easier for consumers to understand the calorie and nutrient content of their foods in more common serving sizes.
The daily maximum for sodium is higher in the U.S. than in other parts of the developed world, and is above estimated minimums. For instance, the National Research Council (United States) has found that 500 mg of sodium per day (approximately 1.25 g of table salt) is a safe minimum level. In the United Kingdom, the daily allowance for salt is 6 g (approximately 2.5 teaspoons, about the upper limit in the U.S.), but this is still considered "too high".
- Canada's Food Guide
- Dietary mineral
- Dietary Reference Intake
- Dietary Reference Values (United Kingdom)
- Essential amino acid
- Essential fatty acid
- Essential nutrient
- Food guide pyramid
- Healthy diet
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