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RECOMMENDED DIETARY ALLOWANCES
DIETARY ALLOWANCES RECOMMENDED BY INDIAN COUNCIL OF MEDICAL RESEARCH (ICMR)
FOR INDIAN POPULATION
Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) are estimates of intakes of nutrients which individuals in a population group need to consume to ensure that the physiological needs of all subjects in that population are met.
Following the recommendations of the League of nations in 1937, an attempt to recommend dietary allowances for energy, protein, iron, calcium, vitamin A, thiamine, ascorbic acid and vitamin D for Indians was made in 1944 by the Nutrition Advisory Committee of the Indian Research Fund Association, now called Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Between 1950 and 1968, in the wake of recommendations for energy and protein requirements by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and based on the international data provided by the FAO/WHO expert groups and those available in India, the recommendations for dietary requirements were revised.
Few years later, newer set of data generated by various researches and surveys conducted by renowned institutions like Avinashilingam Institute for Home science and Higher Education for Women - Deemed University, Coimbatore, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, ICMR and National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB), created a necessity to revise RDAs further.
In 1988 an expert committee constituted by ICMR modified the reference body weight for Indian adults and RDAs in respect of energy, fat, vitamin D and vitamin A. Recommendations on safe intake of fat in terms of both visible and invisible dietary fats were made. For the first time, recommendations for certain trace elements, electrolytes (sodium and potassium), magnesium and phosphorus, vitamin K and vitamin E and dietary fibre were considered.
A number of approaches such as
dietary intake of nutrients
minimal loss of nutrients and
were utilized in arriving at the RDAs.
The RDA of an individual depends upon various factors which are as follows:
Age : Adults require more total calories than a child, whereas a growing child requires more calories per kg of body weight than an adult.
Sex : Males with high Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) require more calories than females.
Activity : The type of activity also determines the energy requirements. The activities are classified as sedentary, moderate and heavy based on the occupation of an individual. List below gives the ICMR classification of activities based on occupation.
Sex : Male
Sedentary : Teacher, Tailor, Barber, Executive, Peon, Postman, retired personnel, priest
Moderate : Fisher man, Basket,maker, potter,Goldsmith,Agricultural labourer,carpenter, mason,rickshaw puller electrician, fitter, turner, cooli, weaver,driver
Heavy : Stone Cutter, Mine Worker, Wood cutter, Blacksmith
Sex : Female
Sedentary : Teacher, Tailor,Executive
Moderate : House wife, Nurse,Servant maid, cooli,Basket maker, weaver,Agricultural labourer,Beedimaker
Heavy : Wood Cutter
Physiological Stress : Nutrient requirements are increased in conditions of physiological stress such as pregnancy and lactation.
The RDAs are given for various age groups such as adult man and adult
woman (for various activities), pregnant and lactating women, infants, children
(1-9 years), boys and girls (10-12 yrs) and adolescents.
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