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Nutr Hosp. 2015 Feb 26;31 Suppl 3:157-67. doi: 10.3305/nh.2015.31.sup3.8763.

Dietary intake and anthropometric reference values in population studies.

Author information

Unidad de Nutrición y Salud Pública, Facultad de Medicina y Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Rovira i Virgili. Reus..
Fundation FIDEC, Bilbao..
Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, Department of Physiology, University of Granada. Granada..
Departamento de Nutrición, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Madrid..
Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas y Sanitarias, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. CiberOBN, Instituto de Salud Carlos III. Madrid. Fundación para la Investigación Nutricional. Barcelona..
CiberOBN, Instituto de Salud Carlos III. Madrid..
Fundation FIDEC, Bilbao. Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Navarra. Pamplona. Spain..


in English, Spanish

In nutritional epidemiology it is essential to have reference values for nutrition and anthropometry in order to compare individual and population data. With respect to reference nutritional intake, the new concept of Dietary Reference Intakes is generated based more on the prevention of chronic diseases than on covering nutritional deficiencies, as would occur in the early Recommendations. As such, the more relevant international organizations incorporated new concepts in their tables, such as the Adequate Intake levels or the Tolerable Upper Intake levels. Currently, the EURRECA recommendations (EURopean micronutrient RECommendations Aligned) are generating reference values for Europe in a transparent, systematic and scientific manner. Using the DRI, health-care authorities formulated nutritional objectives for countries or territories and Dietary Guides to disseminate the dietary advice to the population. Anthropometric assessment continues to be one of the most-used methods for evaluating and monitoring health status, nutritional state and growth in children, not only individuals but also communities. Different organizations have established anthropometric reference patterns of body mass index (BMI) with cut-off points to define overweight and obesity. In children, growth curves have been revised and adapted to the characteristics of healthy children in order to obtain anthropometric reference standards that better reflect optimum growth in children. The Growth Standards for children below 5 years of age of the WHO are a response to these principles, and are widely accepted and used worldwide.

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