Minimum Dietary Energy Requirement (MDER) vs. Average Dietary Energy Requirement (ADER)

May 9, 2015

From FAO: Food Security Indicators* Notes: These are theoretical numbers and the data is not based on actual calories consumed/available This is the cut off point for minimum and average, average meaning if properly distributed hunger would be eliminated They incorporate assumptions about physical activity levels of each population of the world In developing countries a vast majority of MDER falls between 1700 - 1900 calories MDER is a crucial factor in FAO’s undernourishment methodology, as it establishes a cut-off point, or threshold, to estimate the prevalence (percentage) of the undernourished population in a country. When the threshold, or cut-off point changes, so does the prevalence of people estimated to be undernourished. Dietary energy requirements differ by gender and age, and for different levels of physical activity. Accordingly, minimum dietary energy requirements, the amount of energy needed for light activity and minimum acceptable weight for attained-height, vary by country, and from year to year depending on the gender and age structure of the population. For an entire population, the minimum energy requirement is the weighted average of the minimum energy requirements of the different gender-age groups in the population. It is expressed as kilocalories (kcal) per person per day. Particularly in countries with a high prevalence of undernourishment, a large proportion of the population typically consumes dietary energy levels close to the cut-off point, making the MDER a highly sensitive parameter. In most countries, the new human energy requirement standards have resulted in an overall drop in the amount of food required, and a decline in the prevalence of undernourishment. These minimum dietary energy requirements are used exclusively to estimate the prevalence of undernourishment according to the FAO's approach. In developing countries a vast majority of ADER falls between 2100 - 2400 calories The average of the individual’s dietary energy requirement, ADER, is a proper normative reference for adequate nutrition in the population. While it would be mistaken to take the value ADER as the cutoff point to determine the prevalence of undernourishment , its value could be used to calculate the depth of the food deficit (FD), that is the amount of dietary energy that would be needed to ensure that, if properly distributed, hunger would be eliminated. *refer to FAO: Food Security Indicator zinger for more data [verified 4/17/14]

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