Independent report

SACN Statement on Military Dietary Reference Values for Energy

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) review of current evidence on energy requirements for military roles.


SACN Statement on Military Dietary Reference Values for Energy 2017

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In 2014, the Institute of Naval Medicine, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, requested SACN advice on military-specific dietary reference values (DRVs) for energy for those roles and/or activities where there were energy expenditures that were different from the estimated average requirements for UK population subgroups.

Following careful consideration of the doubly-labelled water data available and other military-relevant research, SACN is recommending:

  • 4 different DRVs for energy for military service personnel, corresponding to different levels of physical activity intensity - the first level corresponds to the requirements of the general population; DRVs for levels 2, 3 and 4 reflect higher levels of physical activity

  • a different range for each macronutrient (carbohydrate, protein and total fat), expressed as a percentage of total energy intake (excluding energy from alcohol), for each physical activity level

  • for recommended DRVs for energy and proportions of macronutrients, levels 2, 3 and 4 are only relevant to military personnel with energy requirements different from estimated average requirements for UK population subgroups

SACN considers that there is insufficient evidence to suggest that different DRVs for energy are required for military personnel based on environmental temperature, age or body size. Similarly, there is insufficient evidence that military populations require a different micronutrient intake from the general population.

Published 16 January 2017