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Guideline Daily Amounts - helen-louise
Guideline Daily Amounts
I finally managed to find the UK Guideline Daily Amounts for different nutrients (on a packet of Sainsbury's "Be Good To Yourself" oven chips, of all places!). The official table agrees very nicely with the one that johnckirk managed to put together from 3 different sources. Seeing that it's such a pain in the bum to get hold of, I thought I'd type it out in case anyone else was looking for it.

5-10 years
Energy (kcal)200025001800
Protein (g)455524
Carbohydrate (g)
of which simple (g)
Fat (g)
of which saturated (g)
Fibre (g)242415
Salt (g)
of which sodium (g)

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earwigmc From: earwigmc Date: 20th September 2007 18:47 (UTC) (Link)
thanks *smile*
nmg From: nmg Date: 20th September 2007 19:02 (UTC) (Link)
The canonical word on GDAs is available in the best practice guidelines here
baratron From: baratron Date: 20th September 2007 21:51 (UTC) (Link)
Er... but who on earth are the IGD? I mean, I went to the website, I saw the name "Food & Grocery Information, Insight & Best Practice" and the registered charity thing, but I've never heard of these people. Why should I trust them to know what they're talking about? More to the point, why is the information on the website of a charity I've never heard of and not on a page with a URL ending in .gov.uk or .nhs.uk? Especially when the Government has a perfectly good "healthy eating recommendations" website (http://www.eatwell.gov.uk/) which is very pretty but rather lacking in content.

Also, looking at some of the other information on the page, I have a horrible feeling that it might be these people who are responsible for the bloody awful pie charts of doom that Sainsbury's now print on their food packets, that have almost driven me entirely to shopping at Waitrose.
baratron From: baratron Date: 20th September 2007 21:59 (UTC) (Link)
Not that I'm bitching at you for linking to them, btw. More bitching at the Government for being... less than helpful :P
nmg From: nmg Date: 21st September 2007 08:58 (UTC) (Link)

Relevant quote from the best practice guidelines issued by IGD:

In order to help consumers put nutrition information into context, many companies have been using Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) on pack since 1998, when IGD published guidelines for voluntary nutrition labelling including the use of GDAs for Calories, fat and saturated fats. These were developed following collaboration between government, consumer organisations and the food industry.

These GDAs were based on the recommendations of the Committee on Medical Aspects
of Food Policy (COMA) report on Dietary Reference Values. They translated the science into consumer friendly information, providing guidelines on the back of pack to help consumers put the nutrition information they read on a food label into the context of their overall diet. To date, these guidelines have been widely implemented in the UK and have been well received by industry and consumers.

The COMA report is Department of Health. Report on Health and Social Subjects No 41. Dietary Reference Values
for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom. London: HMSO 1991.
, but I've not been able to find a source for this online.

So, DoH's remit is in publishing DRVs, whereas IGD's remit is the communication of these (as GDAs) to consumers. Quango-tastic.

purplerabbits From: purplerabbits Date: 20th September 2007 19:17 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I do get mildy annoyed when labels on food fail to distinguish minimum and maximum amouns, though. You would't be unhealthy if you got quite a lot less alt than that but they wouldn't (presumably?) want you to cut the fibre much. Still a good start...

Personally I am still trying to find out what is meant by a 'portion' or carbohydrates. Apparently a slice of bread counts as one, so clearly they're smaller than I thought...
memevector From: memevector Date: 20th September 2007 21:45 (UTC) (Link)
You would't be unhealthy if you got quite a lot less salt than that

That's just what I was thinking!

I don't think anyone eating the average western diet needs to give the slightest thought to any concern about getting too little, perhaps unless they're running a marathon in a heatwave...
baratron From: baratron Date: 20th September 2007 21:55 (UTC) (Link)
Yes - if I, as a vegan, get well over 90g of protein a day and the "guideline" amount for a woman is 45g, I don't think anyone needs to worry about getting too little :)

I know what you mean, though - some of those guidelines are recommended maxima while others are recommended minima. We, as reasonably well-educated people, can probably work out for ourselves which are which. But someone who knew very little about nutrition would have no clue. It's probably worth taking up that point with whoever's "in charge" of food labelling - perhaps those IGD people that nmg linked to?
rhialto From: rhialto Date: 20th September 2007 21:53 (UTC) (Link)
I keep being amazed at how most sources keep using the calorie as unit, even though it has been phased out a couple of decades ago. The international standard unit is the Joule.
I'm even more amazed at how this can be the case in countries that do not normally degrees Celcius/Kelvin and grams as basic units (which is how the calorie is defined: the amount of heat (energy) needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celcius (or 1 Kelvin)).
Even the more-or-less official dutch nutrition centre keeps using calories as the first unit, and Joules only as second (in many places).
rhialto From: rhialto Date: 20th September 2007 22:05 (UTC) (Link)
this page (in dutch) expresses it in particular common foods that one is supposed to eat per day, per age group.
The left-hand column reads, respectively
Potatoes (or rice, pasta, pods)
Meat(products), fish, chicken, egg, or meat replacements
Margarine or frying products (i.e. fat)
mattp From: mattp Date: 21st September 2007 07:55 (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, useful. Thanks. I knew a couple of the figures, but having them in one places makes for a handy reference.
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