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Caloric Intake

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Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine


Energy In; Energy Intake


Caloric intake is defined as the amount of energy consumed via food and beverage. A calorie is a unit of energy that is defined as the amount of heat energy required to raise 1 g of water by 1°C. Calories are units that measure the energy in food as well as the energy produced, stored, and utilized by living organisms.

Daily caloric intake needs are determined by a variety of factors such as age, gender, height, weight, activity level, and genetics. Three well-documented formulas are used to calculate daily caloric needs: the Harris-Benedict equation (1919), the Mifflin-St Jeor equation (1990), and the Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intake equation (2002). These equations determine the resting metabolic rate (RMR), which represents the minimum energy needed to maintain vital body functions. While the terms RMR and basal metabolic rate (BMR) are often used interchangeably, the BMR requires more stringent testing conditions and...

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References and Readings

  • Harris, J. A., & Benedict, F. G. (1919). A biometric study of basal metabolism in man. Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution of Washington.

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  • Mifflin, M., St Jeor, S., Hill, L., Scott, B., & Daugherty, S. (1990). A new predictive equation for resting energy expenditure in healthy individuals. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 51(2), 241–247.

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  • Trumbo, P., Schlicker, S., Yates, A. A., Poos, M., & Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, The National Academies. (2002). Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein and amino acids. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 102(11), 1621–1630.

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Correspondence to Megan Roehrig .

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© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media, New York

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Roehrig, M., Duncan, J., Sularz, A. (2013). Caloric Intake. In: Gellman, M.D., Turner, J.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. Springer, New York, NY.

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