J Korean Med Assoc.  2022 Dec;65(12):801-809. 10.5124/jkma.2022.65.12.801.

Current status of nutrient intake in Korea: focused on macronutrients

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Healthcare System Gangnam Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea


Dietary reference intakes (DRIs) provide indicators for individuals or groups to monitor their diet and manage their eating habits. DRIs are important to establish dietary guidelines and nutrition policies. The Korean Nutrition Society under the supervision of the Ministry of Health and Welfare revises and announces DRIs for Koreans every 5 years. In this review, we discuss the 2020 DRI revision and the dietary intake status of Koreans, specifically focused on macronutrients.
Current Concepts
The traditional Korean diet is a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet. However, the carbohydrate intake is decreasing with an increase in protein and fat intake. The mean intake and contribution of each macronutrient to the daily caloric intake (%) is not deviating from the recommended levels, although agebased differences are observed. Older individuals are at higher risk of excessive carbohydrate consumption and have insufficient protein intake. Adequate protein intake is important to prevent frailty or sarcopenia. In contrast, younger adults consume lesser amounts of carbohydrates and higher amounts of protein and fat. Moreover, intake of saturated fatty acids is rapidly increasing among young adults. Therefore, research focused on the health effects of a low-carbohydrate diet and high saturated fatty acid intake is necessary in the future.
Discussion and Conclusion
It is important to consume a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods based on the acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges. Owing to differences in age-based macronutrient intake, it is necessary to consider high-risk groups and their nutrient requirements.


Recommended dietary allowances; Republic of Korea; Nutrients; 영양소 섭취 기준; 대한민국; 영양소
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