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Calorie Needs For Teens

Energy Needs For Teenagers

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Calorie Needs For Teens

Guidelines on calorie needs for teenagers seem to vary according to country. For example, American calorific guidelines suggest higher calorie intakes for teens than European guidelines. Thus both are included in the calorie charts below. Note however that pediatric nutritionists and dietitians agree that a balanced diet, including foods from all main food groups, which contains enough calories to maintain a healthy weight, should meet all the energy requirements of healthy adolescents and teenagers. So counting calories is not strictly necessary. However, as an approximate guide, here are the basic teenage calorie requirements.

For older children - adolescents and teens - calorie requirements are determined by gender as well as age. Boys typically need more calories than girls. Other relevant factors in calculating energy needs include a child's size, body composition and level of activity. An active teen at the top of the pediatric growth chart typically requires more calories than a smaller or less active child.

Figure 1. US Guidelines: Calorie Needs For Adolescents and Teenagers

Teenage Girls Age Average Calorie Needs Each Day
11-14 years 2200 calories
15-18 years 2200
Teenage Boys Age Average Calorie Needs Each Day
11-14 years 2500
15-18 years 3000

Figure 2. UK Guidelines: Teenage and Adolescent Calorie Needs

Age of Teenage Girl Average Calorie Needs Each Day
11-14 years 1845 calories
15-18 years 2110
Age of Teenage Boy Average Calorie Needs Each Day
11-14 years 2220
15-18 years 2755

Source: UK Department of Health (London)

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