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April 1979

National Dietary Goals: Are They Justified at This Time?

Author Affiliations

Department of Human Development B240 Life Sciences Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 48824

Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(4):368-370. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130040022003

For the first time in the history of the country, the United States now has a relatively complete set of nationally promulgated dietary goals. The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) were established in 1943 by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council, and these are principally concerned with micronutrients, protein, and calories. In general, the RDAs include "the levels of intake of essential nutrients considered, in the judgment of the FNB on the basis of available scientific knowledge, to be adequate to meet the known nutritional needs of practically all healthy persons"1 (italics added). The publication in 1977 of the Dietary Goals for the United States "extends the concept of the RDA to include macro-nutrients, as well as sodium and cholesterol."2 However, even more important than the extension of national guidelines to other nutrients is that the dietary goals: (1) are based on

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