Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) are a nutrition facts label that originally began in 1998 as a collaboration between the UK government, the food industry and consumer organizations. The process was overseen by the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD). To help consumers make sense of the nutrition information provided on food labels, they translate science into consumer friendly information, providing guidelines on pack that help consumers put the nutrition information they read on a food label into the context of their overall diet.
GDAs have recently been introduced by many larger corporations into the main continent of Europe and the US, since this introduction into the world outside the UK there has been controversy on what the GDAs actually show, for example, calculating a personal GDA, which is dependent on a person's height, weight, amount of daily activity and age, an intake rating which is about 5-10% above what that person should actually be eating and drinking. When calculating the GDAs the CIAA uses the average caloric intake needed for women because this best fits the needs of the majority of the population. Women need, on average, between 1800-2200 calories a day whereas children need between 1500-2000 and men 2200-2700. In March 2009 the European Food Safety Authority published its opinion on intake levels for Europe and they were consistent with numbers behind the GDAs developed in the UK.
GDAs are now in widespread use across the food industry and appear both on the front and back of food packaging.