Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for energy


Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies

The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Population Reference Intakes: Carlo Agostoni, Jean-Louis Bresson, Patrick Even, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Albert Flynn, Ambroise Martin, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Hildegard Przyrembel, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens and Daniel Tomé for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion and EFSA staff: Anja Brönstrup for the support provided to this scientific opinion.

EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2013;11(1):3005 [112 pp.].
Panel members at the time of adoption
Carlo Agostoni, Roberto Berni Canani, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Marina Heinonen, Hannu Korhonen, Sébastien La Vieille, Rosangela Marchelli, Ambroise Martin, Androniki Naska, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Grażyna Nowicka, Yolanda Sanz, Alfonso Siani, Anders Sjödin, Martin Stern, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Daniel Tomé, Dominique Turck and Hans Verhagen
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
European Commission
Question Number
29 novembre 2012
10 janvier 2013
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy

Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) derived dietary reference values for energy, which are provided as average requirements (ARs) of specified age and sex groups. For children and adults, total energy expenditure (TEE) was determined factorially from estimates of resting energy expenditure (REE) plus the energy needed for various levels of physical activity (PAL) associated with sustainable lifestyles in healthy individuals. To account for uncertainties inherent in the prediction of energy expenditure, ranges of the AR for energy were calculated with several equations for predicting REE in children (1-17 years) and adults. For practical reasons, only the REE estimated by the equations of Henry (2005) was used in the setting of the AR and multiplied with PAL values of 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0, which approximately reflect low active (sedentary), moderately active, active and very active lifestyles. For estimating REE in adults, body heights measured in representative national surveys in 13 EU Member States and body masses calculated from heights assuming a body mass index of 22 kg/m2 were used. For children, median body masses and heights from the WHO Growth Standards or from harmonised growth curves of children in the EU were used. Energy expenditure for growth was accounted for by a 1 % increase of PAL values for each age group. For infants (7-11 months), the AR was derived from TEE estimated by regression equation based on doubly labelled water (DLW) data, plus the energy needs for growth. For pregnant and lactating women, the additional energy for the deposition of newly formed tissue, and for milk output, was derived from data obtained by the DLW method and from factorial estimates, respectively. The proposed ARs for energy may need to be adapted depending on specific objectives and target populations.

Energy, resting energy expenditure, prediction equation, physical activity level, total energy expenditure, factorial method, average requirement
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