Nutrient reference values

Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) are a set of recommended daily nutrient targets based on current available scientific knowledge. These targets are intended for your average healthy individual at different life stages.

NRVs for Australia and New Zealand outline the recommended intakes for  kilojoules (energy), protein, carbohydrate, fibre, fat, vitamins and minerals considered adequate to meet the nutritional needs of healthy people based on age, gender and life stages.

The NRVs were released by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to replace the Recommended Dietary Intakes (RDIs). They include the following guidelines:

EAR: Estimated Average Requirement

A daily nutrient level estimated to meet the requirements of half the healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

RDI: Recommended Dietary Intake

The average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

AI: Adequate Intake

Used when an EAR or RDI cannot be determined due to insufficient data. AIs are based on the average intake of the population known not to have a deficiency.

EER: Estimated Energy Requirement

The average amount of  kilojoules (energy) that is predicted to meet the needs of a healthy person based on life stage, gender, weight, height and physical activity level.

UL: Upper Level of Intake

The highest average daily nutrient intake level likely to pose no adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population.

In order to meet the NRVs it is necessary to maintain a diet consistent with the Australian Dietary Guidelines that includes a wide variety of nutritious foods from the five food groups every day.

Excessive intake of energy dense and nutrient poor foods and drinks high in saturated fat, added sugar and salt (referred to as ‘discretionary choices’ in the Australian Dietary Guidelines) which displace other more nutritious foods and drinks from the diet will make it difficult to meet daily nutrient targets

For further information: