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LEADING FOOD AND NUTRITION GROUPS CALL FOR REVISIONS IN RECOMMENDED DIETARY ALLOWANCES;THE AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION TO TESTIFY

 CHICAGO, June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Four of the nation's leading food and nutrition groups -- members of the recently formed Food and Nutrition Science Alliance -- are calling for a revision in the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs), the standards upon which nutrition professionals base their recommendations for a healthy diet. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) will testify before the National Academy of Sciences on Tuesday, June 29, that the RDAs should more accurately reflect the role proper nutrition can play in disease prevention.
 In addition to the ADA, the alliance consists of the Institute of Food Technologists, American Institute of Nutrition and the American Society for Clinical Nutrition.
 The Recommended Dietary Allowances, according to Susan Calvert Finn, PhD, RD (registered dietitian), president of ADA, are defined as intake levels of essential nutrients that are sufficient to meet the known nutrient needs of practically all healthy people, and are relied on as a "gold standard" against which dietetics professionals evaluate and recommend food intake and dietary practices for their clients. "As the `gold standard,' the RDAs must reflect current scientific knowledge about the dynamic, evolving nutritional needs of the population for which they're designed," she said.
 "There currently are many issues under debate about how the RDAs should be revised," said Finn, "but there is substantial scientific agreement that it's time to move forward and make the RDAs better address the link between diet and disease prevention."
 The ADA's testimony, which will be offered by Sachiko T. St. Jeor, PhD, RD, will focus primarily on how dietetics practitioners use the RDAs in nutrition education, patient counseling and menu planning. Specifically, the ADA will


recommend:
 -- Targeting RDAs more specifically, with better definitions (i.e.
 what nutrient, when and why?) and realistic applications (i.e.
 health maintenance and chronic disease prevention,
 intervention, etc.
 -- Evaluating the effectiveness of presenting a range of a
 nutrient recommendation vs. a single absolute value in
 recognition of the diverse needs within the population.
 -- Use of updated values based on the most current RDAs
 specifically evaluated for application on food labels.
 -- Expanding RDA publication and scientific activities to include
 other educational efforts for the consumer, as well as health
 professionals.
 -- Including considerations of dietary components that are
 receiving increased popular as well as scientific attention
 (carotenoids, cholesterol, etc.)
 -- Extending the RDAs to cover the elderly and also address the
 special needs of minorities and other groups.
 -- Establishing an ongoing RDA Committee to collect, evaluate and
 update information and inform major professional users
 regarding significant findings.
 -- Establishing research priorities and initiatives on the
 application of the RDAs.
 The members of the alliance represent the most comprehensive group of food, nutrition, and medical practitioners and scientists in the country and have the expertise to translate scientific language into practical advice for consumers. The 63,500-member American Dietetic Association serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health and well-being. ADA, the nation's largest group of food and nutrition professionals, is headquartered in Chicago. The American Institute of Nutrition, with 3,000 members, is the principal professional organization of nutrition research scientists in the U.S.
 The American Society for Clinical Nutrition, with 1,100 members, is the scientific society for clinical nutritionists in medicine and the health sciences. The Institute of Food Technologists represents 25,000 food science and technology professionals and is the scientific organization whose members are directly involved in producing and processing the products that feed and nourish the American population.
 -0- 6/28/93
 /CONTACT: Karen Steen, 800-877-1600, ext. 4806, or Michael Schiferi, ext. 4822, both of American Dietetic Association/


CO: The American Dietetic Association ST: Illinois IN: HEA SU:

TM -- NY083 -- 6461 06/28/93 17:51 EDT
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Date:Jun 28, 1993
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