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Although calorie needs decline with age (see next section), the requirements for most other nutrients do not, making dietary nutrient density important at a time when the added complications of chronic illness and the side effects of medications and other medical interventions for chronic conditions (e.g., special diets, surgery, chemotherapy) decrease the likelihood of achieving it. Dietary requirements are expressed as Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs), including Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) or Adequate Intakes (AIs) as appropriate, for all recognized essential nutrients, including macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals (Institute of Medicine 1997, 1998, 2000, 2005). In previously released versions of these recommendations, the oldest age category was 51 years and older, so it is important to note that the most recently released recommendations include recommendations for those older than 70 years of age. Tables 28–1 and 28–2 show the DRIs (consisting of RDAs, or AIs when RDAs are not available) for the older adult age categories. These recommendations are most helpful in terms of guiding nutritional assessment and supplementation with regard to the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). More specific guidelines are needed to individualize recommendations for energy and macronutrient intakes.

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Table Reference Number
Table 28–1. Dietary Reference Intakes for adults ages 51 years and older
Table Reference Number
Table 28–2. Dietary Reference Intakes for adults ages 51 years and older

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