What are the daily values on nutrition labeling based on?

The daily values for nutrition labeling, used on a vast majority of products, are defined by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) as “reference values, based on a 2,000 calorie intake, for adults and children four and more years of age.” The FDA also publishes a table with daily values for infants, children younger than age 4 and pregnant and lactating women, but these are almost never used on product labels. Moreover, the FDA's daily values for children less than four years of age do not correctly reflect the dietary needs of young children, as these daily values are 1.5 to 2.7 times higher the Institute of Medicine’s recommended dietary allowances for this age group. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.