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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the recommended calorie intake for adults, children and toddlers?

GLENN FANLO, Japan

Energy requirements are related to age, gender, body size and level of activity. Therefore it is difficult to give recommendations for a general calorie intake. Energy requirements tend to increase up to the age of 15 -18 years, because children and youths are active and growing rapidly. On average, boys have slightly higher requirements than girls and this persists throughout adulthood. After the age 18 years energy requirements tend to be lower, but this also depends on the individual's level of activity. By the age of 50 years, energy requirements are even lower, partly due to a reduction in the basal metabolic rate and to a reduced level of activity.

The recommendations given for a daily calorie intake refer to an adult person with moderate activity. For women it should be around 2000 and for men 2500-2800 calories (kcal) each day. Toddlers need about 1300 calories each day. For children aged 7 to 10, the estimated average requirement of energy is 1970 kilocalories a day for boys and 1740 kcal for girls. But this is only a guide; many children will need more than these estimates and some will need less, depending on a number of things, including how physically active they are (Based on: Food Standards Agency - http://www.food.gov.uk).


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The European Food Information Council (EUFIC) is a non-profit organisation which communicates science-based information on nutrition and health, food safety and quality, to help consumers to be better informed when choosing a well-balanced, safe and healthful diet.

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This site was last updated 24/07/2014
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