Merck Manual

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Estimated Number of Calories Needed Based on Age*, Sex, and Activity Level†

Estimated Number of Calories Needed Based on Age*, Sex, and Activity Level†

Sex

Sedentary

Active

Young children (age 2–6 years)

Boys

1,000–1,400

1,000–1,800

Girls

1,000–1,200

1,000–1,600

Older children and adolescents (age 7–18 years)

Boys

1,400–2,400

1,600–3,200

Girls

1,200–1,800

1,600–2,400

Adults (age 19–60 years)

Men

2,200–2,600

2,400–3,000

Women

1,600–2,000

1,800–2,400

Adults (age 61 years and over)

Men

2,000

2,200–2,600

Women

1,600

1,800–2,000

* The number of calories needed increases as people age up until age 20 years. After age 20, the number of calories needed starts to decrease.

† The more active a person is, the higher the number of calories needed.