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Back to Part D. Science Base, Section 3. Discretionary Calories

 

PART D: SCIENCE BASE

Figure D3-3a. Estimate of Discretionary Calories Available Based on the Level of Physical Activity for Males 31 to 50 Years Old. (Estimated Energy Requirements from the IOM Dietary Reference Intakes macronutrients report, 2002, are calculated by median height (1.77 m) and weight (70 kg) for that height to give a BMI of 22.5 for a typical 30 year old adult male.)

The chart presents calories consumed—from 0 to 3,500 calories—on the y axis, along with bars representing men at three different activity levels (sedentary, moderately active, and active) on the x axis.

A Sedentary man age 31 to 50 has an average caloric requirement of 2,200 calories. The figure shows that he needs 1,958 essential calories to consume a relatively nutrient-dense food pattern to meet nutrient needs. The difference in the essential calories and the number of calories needed to meet recommended nutrient requirements (2,200 - 1,958 = 242 calories) is the number of discretionary calories needed to achieve energy balance, based on the USDA food modeling system. Sedentary means a lifestyle that includes only the light physical activity associated with a typical day-to-day life.

A Moderately Active man age 31 to 50 has an average caloric requirement of 2,600 calories. The figure shows that he needs 2,230 essential calories to consume a relatively nutrient-dense food pattern to meet nutrient needs. The difference in the essential calories and the number of calories needed to meet recommended nutrient requirements (2,600 - 2,230 = 370 calories) is the number of discretionary calories needed to achieve energy balance, based on the USDA food modeling system. Moderately active means a lifestyle that includes physical activity equivalent to walking approximately 1.5 to 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life, and results in a slight increase in essential calories for the moderately active man.

An Active man age 31 to 50 has an average caloric requirement of 3,000 calories. The figure shows that he needs 2,535 essential calories to consume a relatively nutrient-dense food pattern to meet nutrient needs. The difference in the essential calories and the number of calories needed to meet recommended nutrient requirements (3,000 - 2,535 = 465 calories) is the number of discretionary calories needed to achieve energy balance, based on the USDA food modeling system. Active means a lifestyle that includes physical activity equivalent to walking more than 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life, and results in a slight increase in essential calories for the active man.

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