Natural Foods Merchandiser

Common nutrition label acronyms and what they mean

Nutrition labels are swimming with acronyms that confuse shoppers. Find out the differences between Daily Values (DVs) and other label acronyms.

Daily Value (DV)
Daily Values are average levels of nutrients for a person eating 2,000 calories per day. Thus, a food item with a 5 percent DV of fat provides 5 percent of the total fat that a person consuming 2,000 calories per day should eat. These values are provided on nutrition labels.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
The average daily dietary intake of a nutrient that is sufficient to meet the requirements of nearly all (97.5 percent) healthy persons.

Estimated Average Requirement (EAR)
The amount of a nutrient that is estimated to meet the requirements of about half of all healthy individuals in the population.

Dietary Reference Intake (DRI)
Developed by the Institute of Medicine, DRI is actually a general term for a set of four reference values used for planning and assessing nutrient intake for healthy people: 1) RDA, 2) Adequate Intake (AI), only used when an RDA for a nutrient cannot be determined, 3) Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL), the highest daily intake of a nutrient that is likely to pose no risks of toxicity for almost all individuals, and 4) EAR.

Source: Council for Responsible Nutrition

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.