Health and Human Development - Using recommended dietary intakes
Using recommended dietary intakes
The recommended dietary intakes (RDIs) are the levels of intake of
essential nutrients that are considered to be adequate to meet the needs of
practically all healthy people. They are derived from estimates of
requirements for each age and sex category and incorporate a generous
safety factor to accommodate variations in absorption and metabolism.
It is not correct to assume that a diet is inadequate if one or more of
the nutrients fall below the RDI (Carey et al, 2000 p79).
If you are required to evaluate the adequacy of an individual's diet over
a period of two or three days, be careful how you use the information you
are given. You know how varied your diet can be over a few days.
After-school sport, working at nights, weekend activities and parties all
change the routine of eating. A seven-day intake is a more reliable pattern
to use, but look at the data you have as an indication of what might be a
typical food pattern for that person. What would his/her health be like if
this was the normal pattern of daily eating? You will probably see that the
older the person, the more rigid is the food intake pattern.
Look at the information in the scenario given to you for clues as to
whether you would expect the two or three day food intake to be typical of
a regular pattern for that individual. For the purpose of an assignment,
you can assume that the pattern is typical for the individual but do not
assume that you can make judgements about other people's nutritional status
 based on a few days' food intake. However, recording your own food
intake for a few days can help you to see what you are eating. This can be
the start of self-evaluation.
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