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October 25, 1985


JAMA. 1985;254(16):2338-2340. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360160170051

Two important reference documents in nutrition have recently been revised and updated. For more than 40 years, the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) have provided standards of reference for evaluating dietary intakes in the United States.1,2 The tenth edition of Recommended Dietary Allowances is expected to be published soon, and planning for the 11th issue has already begun.3,4 Despite their wide-ranging implications, the RDAs continue to be misinterpreted.5 Common errors stem from confusing RDAs with daily requirements and from failing to appreciate that RDAs are expressed as the average daily amounts of nutrients that should be consumed over time—not minimum amounts that must be eaten in any single day. Beaton5 has suggested that these errors, among others, reflect the fact that many users of the RDAs rely on the summary table, but have not bothered to read the full report. I suspect he is right

Dietary Guidelines