QUANT I FY I NG THE GAP
Nutrilite’s America’s Phytonutrient Report: Quantifying the Gap was developed from an analysis of data from NHANES, surveys that capture what Americans eat daily, and supplemental nutrient concentration data
from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the published literature. The original analysis was completed by Exponent for Nutrilite on September 11, 2009, and the revised analysis was completed
by Exponent for Nutrilite on January 13, 2010.
When the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released in 2005, the federal recommendations for
fruits and vegetables increased from 5-9 servings to 5-13 servings per day for adults. Unfortunately, despite
known health benefits of higher intakes of fruits and vegetables, very few Americans are consuming these
recommended intake levels. Given that fruit and vegetable intakes are suboptimal for most people, it is
reasonable to conclude that intake of the phytonutrients typically provided in these foods is less than optimal,
too. Essentially, there is a “phytonutrient gap” among the majority of Americans.
Because phytonutrients are not considered “essential” to human health, there are no Dietary Reference
Intakes (DRIs), as there are for the macro and micronutrients. This report is not designed to establish DRIs for
phytonutrients, nor does it claim to establish phytonutrient intake recommendations associated with optimal
health. Rather, using NHANES and USDA datasets, this report identifies the median intakes of phytonutrients
by the subpopulation of adults who meet recommended daily intakes of fruits and vegetables. This median
intake is referred to as the “prudent intake” (PI) because this is the intake level for adults eating a diet that is
considered to have a prudent amount of fruits and vegetables based on established government guidelines.
Following the establishment of the PI, the percentage of Americans who failed to meet the PI for each
phytonutrient tested was then