Nutrition

Nutrition Requirements

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) provides scientific advice on nutrient requirements to Member Countries and international bodies, including the Codex Alimentarius Commission. National and international agencies use this information for developing policies and programmes for actions to improve nutrition throughout the world. FAO activities on nutritional requirements include development of practical applications and tools for improving nutrition, such as nutrition labelling, training workshops and research related to nutrient requirements. 

CALL FOR AUTHORS: scoping reviews for updating iron, vitamin A, folate and magnesium requirements in children aged 0-36 months

The FAO Food and Nutrition Division and the WHO Department of Nutrition and Food Safety are in the process of updating nutrient requirements for children aged 0 – 36 months, originally established jointly by FAO and WHO in 2004. In preparing for the work of updating the requirements, the nutrients were prioritized in batches of 3-4 nutrients and work on calcium, vitamin D and zinc is currently well under way. To inform the work on the next batch of nutrients, which are iron, vitamin A, folate and magnesium, FAO and WHO are commissioning scoping reviews for each nutrient.  

Those interested are invited to submit a proposal online at https://extranet.who.int/dataformv3/index.php/628137 no later than 15 December 2020.

Further information can be found at https://www.who.int/news-room/articles-detail/call-for-authors-scoping-reviews-for-updating-iron-vitamin-a-folate-and-magnesium-requirements-in-children-aged-0-36-months


The first committee on calorie (energy) requirements made a number of points which are still pertinent today. Among the most important were:

  • Requirements were intended for groups of persons rather than individuals, i.e., an average requirement can never be compared directly with an individual (requirement).
  • Judgement must be exercised in interpreting and using requirement values.
  • It is essential to address the practical applications of the requirements, a task assigned to the Secretariat.