Independent report

SACN Dietary Reference Values for Energy

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition report on the DRVs for energy



The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) has derived new energy reference values. For most population groups, except for infants and young children, the values have increased. This change reflects the more accurate methods used to assess energy expenditure; the evidence base available to Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy was more limited and as a result energy requirements were underestimated for some age groups.

It is important to note that Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) should be used to assess the energy requirements for large groups of people and populations, but should not be applied to individuals due to the large variation in physical activity and energy expenditure observed between people.

Despite SACN’s best efforts to base its recommendations on the most up to date evidence, it should be noted that there is less Doubly-Labelled Water (DLW) data available for infants, younger adults (18 to 30 years) and those aged 80 years.

The Committee hopes that this will be addressed in the future

Summaries and summary tables can be found on the following pages of the report:

  • Energy reference values for infants aged 1 to 12 months – table 14 on page 83

  • Energy reference values for children aged 1 to 18 years – table 15 on page 84

  • Energy reference values for adults – table 16 on page 85

  • Energy reference values during pregnancy and lactation – See paragraphs S48 to S51 on pages 22 on 23

Return to the SACN home page for more information on the Committee.