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Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

Nutrition is a basic human need and a prerequisite to a healthy life. A proper diet is essential from the very early stages of life for proper growth, development and to remain active. RDA represents the nutrients in terms of diets that should be consumed by the population.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the amount of essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals etc that has been established by Indian Council of Medical research (ICMR) as adequate to meet the average daily nutritional needs of most healthy persons according to age group and sex.

In India, the concept of RDA dates back to the 1944. The first attempt to define nutrient requirements was made by Nutrition Advisory Committee of the Indian Research Fund Association now known as Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in 1944.  Since then it is revised every 10 years. Current RDA was set in year 2010.

Factors on which RDA depends:

Recommended Dietary Allowance for individuals would depend upon different factors. These include:

  1. Age of the individual
  2. Physical activity
  3. Sex
  4. Body composition
  5. Vulnerable: pregnant and lactating mothers, infants and elderly people.

On the basis of physical activity, individuals have been classified as

  1. Sedentary worker – with least physical activity like lawyer, teacher, doctor
  2. Moderate worker – with moderate physical activity like carpenter, tailor, plumber
  3. Heavy worker- with vigorous physical activity like coal miner, steel worker, army man

Why is RDA important?

  1. Maintenance of a state of positive health and optimal performance in populations at large by maintaining ideal body weight.
  2. Ensuring adequate nutritional status for pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  3. Improvement of birth weights and promotion of growth of infants, children and adolescents to achieve their full genetic potential.
  4. Achievement of adequacy in all nutrients and prevention of deficiency diseases.
  5. Prevention of chronic diet-related disorders.
  6. Maintenance of the health of the elderly and increasing the life expectancy

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Infants and children

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for males and females:

With epidemic increase of consumption of ready to eat food or packed snacks that suit the sedentary lifestyle, it is important to know how much energy and fat these little packets contain. Consumer VOICE decodes food labels of popular products and brands. We compare not only the energy and protein levels but the safer and dangerous limits of salt, sugar and fat as per the Traffic Light labeling System.  

List of Products decoded by Consumer VOICE to know how much RDA requirements are met per serving

Check the brands that are safe to eat frequently and which brands you should avoid or eat sparingly

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