Title: Dietary Reference Values (DRVs)

Key words:

Date: Jan 2001

Category: 18. Directory

Type: Article

Author: Kate Neil (NS3)

Dietary Reference Values (DRVs)

(based upon the 1991 COMA report)

Essentially, the 1991 COMA report on DRVs does not make dietary recommendations. Instead, the DRVs are estimates of requirements for a population or group to provide guidance* rather than recommendations.1

To attain validity the claim would need to include the following criteria:

From a scientific perspective it would appear that the word ‘validity’ does not accurately describe the improved scientific basis for making dietary ‘recommendations’ or indeed ‘guidelines’, based on the 1991 COMA report on DRVs.*

As far as advice to the public is concerned, the DRVs and subsequent COMA reports provide the scientific basis for the following dietary messages:

The Panel felt that setting a range of intakes for a given nutrient, based on the distribution of requirements rather than just one figure would help users interpret dietary information on both groups and individuals.1 The Panel were aware the RDIs and RDAs had been frequently misinterpreted and used inappropriately.1


  1. Scientific Basis of Nutrition Education – Nutrition Briefing Paper 1996
  2. Design Concepts in Nutritional Epidemiology, Margetts and Nelson, Oxford Press, 2nd Edition, 1998
  3. Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom, DOH 41, Stationery Office, 1997