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How high are our daily energy requirements?

We need energy to be healthy and productive. Each person's daily energy requirements will differ. How much energy you need in a day depends on various factors.

Muesli is a nutritious way to start the day.
  • Gender: Women generally have lower energy requirements than men.
  • Age: Energy requirements decline with age, whilst the requirements for vitamins and minerals remain the same or even increase.
  • Profession: Sedentary occupations require less energy than hard physical labour.
  • Leisure activities: A person who spends their leisure time watching TV needs less energy than an active person who does a lot of exercise.
  • Illnesses: Some illnesses can increase our energy requirements, such as cancer and dementia.
The energy provided by a food is indicated as kilocalories (kcal) and kilojoules (kJ). In our article on product labelling, we tell you how much energy is provided by foods like protein or oils, and where this information can be found on the packaging.