Estimated Average Requirement is a value of the nutrient intake, which is estimated to meet the requirement of 50% of the healthy individuals in a group. EAR serves as a standard level of nutrients, which an average person requires for his good health and overall well-being.
It is used to determine the nutrient intake and to assess the prevalence of inadequate nutrient intake among the population. Hence, it helps in establishing if each person meets his or her nutrient requirement.
The Estimated Average Requirement is different for:
- Different age groups- Children, adolescents, and adults
- Gender: Male and females
- Lifestyle stages- Pregnant women and lactating mother
Purpose of Estimated Average Requirement:
- Inadequate nutrient intake leads to the onset of nutrient deficiencies and affects the quality of life negatively. Therefore, it is essential to know and understand the body’s need for nutrients.
- EARs serve as the basis for Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA). In other words, it is used to calculate the RDA.
- EAR helps the dieticians and nutritional institutes to plan nutrient-rich meals and diets for individuals as per their body’s need
- It helps in determining if individuals are able to meet their nutrient requirement or not
- EAR helps the individuals to meet their body’s nutrient requirements and prevents nutrient deficiencies. It assesses the group of population, which is at an increased risk of nutrient insufficiency
- With the help of the EAR, one can determine their body’s need at a particular stage. For example The requirement for certain nutrients, such as iron increases during pregnancy. Hence, an EAR table can provide information regarding how much iron is required during pregnancy. This helps the women to meet their demands for increased iron during pregnancy
- The EAR is used by the manufacturers of various food products in food labeling. The EAR is highlighted on the food labels, which helps the consumers to select foods that are healthy and nutritious. (1)
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