GUIDELINE DAILY AMOUNTS
Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) show the percentage of the guideline daily amount of energy and some nutrients (fat, saturated fat, sugars and salt) that is provided by a serving or portion of a food.
Guideline Daily Amounts are a guide to the total amount of energy and nutrients that a typical healthy adult should be eating in a day. These values are derived from international, EU and government guidelines that are based on the latest published scientific data on dietary requirements and recommendations and are provided on a voluntary basis by the food and beverage and retail industries. Recently, the Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries of the EU (CIAA) proposed a harmonised industry approach to nutrition labelling across the EU, including the use of standardised GDA values. This would help to eliminate the differences between GDA values that are currently observed.
Guidelines for adults are based on typical requirements for healthy men and women over 18 years of age, of normal weight and/or for weight maintenance. The energy GDA values are derived from estimated average population requirements (EAR) for energy and take account of the current activity levels and lifestyle of an average citizen, which tends to be fairly sedentary. The energy is commonly measured in “kilocalories” (kcal), also referred to as “Calories”. For an average woman the energy GDA is 2000 kcal and 2500 kcal for an average man: these values are used as a reference to calculate the guideline daily amounts for nutrients. Where it is impractical to provide separate guidelines for men and women, ‘adult’ GDA values are based on GDA values for women, to discourage over-consumption. Reference GDAs for children are generally only found on labels or literature associated with products intended specifically for children.
See below an example of a typical label using GDAs