How Do You Calculate RDA in Nutrition?

Recommended Dietary Allowances, or RDAs, were replaced in the 1990s by Dietary Reference Intakes, or DRIs. The easiest way to calculate your DRI is through the Interactive DRI for Healthcare Professionals tool available on the USDA Food and Nutritional Center website.

  1. Enter your personal data

    Individual DRI is calculated on the basis of gender, age, height, weight and level of daily activity. First, enter whether you are male or female. If you are female, the form asks whether you are pregnant, which trimester you are in, if pregnant, and how long you have been nursing if you are lactating. Enter your age in years or if you are calculating the DRI of a baby less than 12 months old, enter the baby's age in months.

  2. Measure your height and weight

    Measure your height in feet and inches and your weight in pounds, and enter the data in the appropriate space. There is also an option to use the metric system.

  3. Assess your average daily activity level

    Choose between four possible daily activity levels. Sedentary means you do not exercise but do gardening or housework. Low active means you do 30 minutes of moderate activity, like walking. Active means you do 60 minutes of moderate activity, such as walking, jogging or 30 minutes of running. Very active means you do 45 to 60 minutes of intense exercise.

  4. Read the results

    Once you have entered the appropriate data, the DRI tool calculates your individual recommended dietary allowance, adequate intake, tolerable upper intake level and estimated average requirement for each important nutrient.