Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) of Macronutrients and Energy for the United Kingdom

Different life stages have different requirements for fats, carbohydrates, and especially protein and energy. As a nutrition professional, it is important to have these references on top of your mind when conducting the nutritional assessment of clients and creating their dietary recommendations.

This is essential not only when it comes to macronutrients, but also when it comes to vitamins and minerals since people have different needs for these throughout their life. If you would like to know the dietary reference values for vitamins and minerals by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), you can check this article.

Nutrium is the ultimate software solution for nutrition experts and we are always working towards helping them be more efficient. So we added the UK reference values for macronutrients adapted to different life stages, to make sure professionals are always up-to-date with recommendations.

What are Dietary Reference Values

According to the former Committee on Medical Aspects of Food and Nutrition Policy (COMA) and now Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) Dietary Reference Values (DRV) are used to cover the population requirements and have included a range of nutrient values:

  • EAR - Estimated Average Requirements of a group of people for energy or protein or vitamins or mineral. About half will usually need more than the EAR, and half less;

  • LRNI - Lower Reference Nutrient Intake for protein or vitamin or mineral. An amount of the nutrient that is enough for only a few people in a group who have low needs;

  • RNI - Reference Nutrient Intake for protein or a vitamin or mineral. An amount of the nutrient that is is enough, or more than enough, for about 97% of people in a group. If the average intake of a group is at RNI, then the risk of deficiency in the group is very small.

These values were developed to assess the populations' requirements, even though this information can be assumed to calculate individual requirements.

RNI for macronutrients available in SACN's Dietary Reference Values for Food, Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom have been integrated according to different groups:

  • Age;
  • Gender;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Lactation.

What are the Dietary Reference Values for macronutrients and energy?

DRVs for protein are represented in grams per day and the Reference Nutrient Intake was used. Up until the age of 10, recommendations are the same for males and females. As they enter puberty, a lot of physiological changes happen and so recommendations are separated for males and females. The RNI was also added for pregnancy and lactation life stages.

When it comes to carbs and fats, a reference percentage of each was added, remaining unchanged during the different stages of life.

For energy, the Estimated Average Requirements were added in kcal per day. These are different for males and females during the entire life course.

You can check the values in detail in this article.

Protein
Age (y) Gender RNI g/day
0-3 months 12.5
4-6 months 12.7
7-9 months 13.7
10-12 months 14.9
1-3 years 14.5
4-6 years 19.7
7-10 years 28.3
11-14 years Female 41.2
11-14 years Male 42.1
15-18 years Female 45.4
15-18 years Male 55.2
19-50 years Female 45
19-50 years Male 55.5
50+ years Female 53.3
50+ years Male 46.5
Pregnancy 6+
Lactation 6+
First Semester 11+
Second Semester 8+

Fats
Age (y) DRV %
ALL 35%

Carbs
Age (y) DRV %
ALL 50%

Energy
Age (y) Gender EAR (kcal/day)
0-3 months Female 515
0-3 months Male 545
4-6 months Female 645
4-6 months Male 690
7-9 months Female 765
7-9 months Male 825
10-12 months Female 865
10-12 months Male 920
1-3 years Female 1165
1-3 years Male 1230
4-6 years Female 1545
4-6 years Male 1715
7-10 years Female 1740
7-10 years Male 1970
11-14 years Female 1845
11-14 years Male 2220
15-18 years Female 2110
15-18 years Male 2755
19-50 years Female 1940
19-50 years Male 2550
51-59 years Female 1900
51-59 years Male 2550
60-64 years Female 1900
60-64 years Male 2380
65-74 years Female 1900
65-74 years Male 2330
75+ years Female 1810
75+ years Male 2100
Pregnancy
3rd trimester 200+
Lactation
1 month 450
2 months 530
3 months 570
4-6 months 570
>6 months 240-550

Where can you see these new recommendations on Nutrium?

In the Planning section, you can see what is the reference in terms of grams or percentages of proteins, carbohydrates and fats according to the different life cycle of your client.

This allows you to determine their specific needs according to this reference in order to create a more adapted meal plan for them.

Please note that these references should be used for healthy individuals.

It is also possible to change the source from SACN to Food and Nutrition Board/IOM, ANSES, 2016 or SINU, 2014 at any time. You can always choose which one adapts best to each client's requirements.


We want to continue improving and adapting the software so that nutrition professionals based in the UK can have the right tools to provide the proper nutritional counselling.

Feel free to let us know your feedback, suggestions and questions so we can continue to improve.

If you want to try Nutrium, do it know and enjoy our 14-day free trial.