Leo Sher, M.D.
The amount of energy in an item of food or drink is measured in calories. An average man needs around 2,500 calories a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, this amount is about 2,000 calories a day. Most experts recommend a minimum of 1000-1200 calories a day for women and 1200 – 1500 minimum a day for men. Women usually report consuming 1,600 to 2,200 calories a day, men 2,000 to 3,000, and children 1,800 to 2,500.
A vital part of a healthy diet is equalizing the energy you put into your bodies with the energy you use. Our bodies burn calories for energy. This includes energy expended for our basic bodily functions or what is known as our resting metabolic rate (RMR).
Some groups of sick people need more or less calories in comparison to healthy people. For example, poor growth and nutritional status are common in children with chronic diseases. Oral protein calorie supplements are widely used to enhance the nutritional status of these children.
Obesity is an important risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular illnesses, musculoskeletal diseases, obstructive sleep apnea, and prostate, colorectal, endometrial, and breast cancers. The most frequent cause of obesity is a difference between calories consumed and calories used. The principal treatment for obesity is dieting, supplemented by physical exercise and psychotherapy.
Eating and physical activity behaviors that are centered on ingesting fewer calories, making educated food choices, and being physically active can assist individuals to achieve and sustain a healthy weight, decrease their risk of acute and chronic diseases, and promote physical and mental health in general.