Dietary reference values for proteins
The Health Council of the Netherlands has carried out a periodic evaluation of dietary reference values for protein in children and adults, as well as in women who are pregnant and those who are breastfeeding. To this end, the Council has based its approach on the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) dietary reference values for protein. The Council’s specific focus was whether adults aged 60 and above require more protein than younger adults. There is an ongoing scientific debate on this issue, also some countries use a higher dietary reference value for this group. The Council has found no convincing evidence that a higher population reference intake is required for all older adults. The Council does not rule out the possibility that specific subgroups of older adults, such as frail older adults or malnourished older adults, may benefit from more protein. Dutch dietary reference values expressed as grams per day are slightly higher than those used by the EFSA. This is because the Dutch are taller and, thus, heavier than the average European. The dietary reference values for protein are used mainly by the Netherlands Nutrition Centre and by dietitians.