- Posted by Admin
- On December 12, 2017
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- CDC, Chronic Disease, DRI, food policy, NASEM, Nutrition, Options Report, Potassium, Sodium
By: Lea Kriesberg, American University
Starting in 2015, a joint United States-Canada working group was convened through the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to review the landscape and develop new guidelines for updating the Dietary Reference Intake (DRIs), specifically to consider including chronic disease endpoints in the deliberations. DRIs are a set of reference values representing the adequate nutrient needs of healthy populations. The values also change based on age, sex, and life stage. DRIs are used for health assessments, dietary planning, research, monitoring public health programs, and nutrition policy (ODPHP, 2017). Currently, the DRIs get reviewed as needed, with sodium and potassium set to be reviewed next.
The prevalence of chronic diseases in the United States and Canada make understanding the connection between nutrition and health essential. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading causes of death include chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease (CDC, 2017). The increasing prevalence of obesity, and the associated chronic diseases, also demands more information on disease prevention through nutrition (Yetley, 2017).
Although adding chronic disease endpoints to DRIs has the potential to be useful, it also presents challenges. The NASEM committee, referenced above, released their guiding principles this August (Kumanyika, 2017). This document in unison with the “Options Report” (Yetley, 2017) released in January discussed these hurdles. For example, it can be difficult to establish a causal relationship between nutrient intake and chronic disease and studies attempting to research this relationship must be well designed to eliminate the risk of bias and increase the level of confidence (Yetley, 2017).
Despite these challenges, DRIs are an essential public health tool that has the potential to reduce the risk for chronic disease. It remains to be seen exactly how these guiding principles and the other NASEM committee recommendations will be incorporated into future DRI reviews, such as the DRI review process for sodium and potassium, which began this month.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2017). Leading Causes of Death. Retrieved From: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm.
Health and Medicine Division. (2017). The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Retrieved from http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/activities/nutrition/reviewdriforsodiumandpotassium.aspx
Kumanyika S, Oria MP. (2017). Guiding Principles for the Inclusion of Chronic Disease Endpoints in Future Dietary Reference Intakes. The National Academies of Sciences. Retrieved from https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24828/guiding-principles-for-developing-dietary-reference-intakes-based-on-chronic-disease.
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2017). Dietary Reference Intakes and Chronic Disease Endpoints Workshop. US Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dri/
Yetley E., et al. (2016). Options for basing Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) on chronic disease endpoints: report from a joint US/Canadian-sponsored working group. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 105(1). doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.139097