February issue 121: web watch

Statement on Military Dietary Reference Values for Energy

Military roles and/or activities can be physically demanding and people within these roles can experience different energy expenditures when compared with the estimated average requirements for UK population subgroups. In 2014, the Institute of Naval Medicine, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, requested SACN to advise on military-specific dietary reference values (DRVs) for energy. Following careful consideration of the doubly-labelled water data available and other military-relevant research, recommendations from SACN include:

• four different DRVs for energy for military service personnel, corresponding to different levels of physical activity intensity - the first level corresponds to the requirements of the general population; DRVs for levels 2, 3 and 4 reflect higher levels of physical activity;

• different range for each macronutrient (carbohydrate, protein and total fat), expressed as a percentage of total energy intake (excluding energy from alcohol), for each physical activity level.

SACN considers that there is insufficient evidence to suggest that different DRVs for energy are required for military personnel based on environmental temperature, age or body size. Similarly, there is insufficient evidence that military populations require a different micronutrient intake from the general population.

The full statement can be found and downloaded from