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What Is the Recommended Caloric Intake Per Day for Teenagers?

Teenagers need more calories than adults. This is because they are still growing and their bodies needed more calories to keep up with the development process. These calories should come from a variety of foods to ensure good nutrition. Calcium in particular is important during the teenage years, when bones are still growing. MayoClinic.com recommends that at least 45 percent of daily calories come from carbohydrates. This will provide a steady source of energy.


Teenage boys should consume between 1,800 and 3,200 calories per day. Pre-teens and teens between 9 and 13 should eat between 1,800 to 2,600 calories, while boys over 14 can eat more. The Baylor College of Medicine recommends an average of 2,200 to 2,400 calories for boys between 14 and 18 years of age.


Teenage girls need between 1,600 and 2,400 calories per day. Girls under 14 can eat 1,600 to 2,200 calories, while girls between 14 and 18 can eat 1,800 to 2,400, depending on their body composition and activity level. The average for girls between 14 and 18 years of age is about 2,000 calories per day.


A number of factors affect how many calories teenagers should eat. One is age. Some organizations and medical professionals divide teenagers into two groups: those between 9 and 14 and those between 14 and 18. Although the first group includes pre-teens, they're usually included in the teenager group. When only one group is mentioned, it's usually for teens between 14 and 18 years of age. Another factor that affects calorie needs is level of physical activity. Teens who are involved in sports will burn more calories, so they'll need to eat more to compensate. Heavier teens or those with a higher percentage of muscle will also need a higher calorie intake.

Special Circumstances

Overweight and obese teenagers need to cut down on their calorie intake to achieve a healthier weight. A good weight for a teen varies greatly based on age, sex and body frame. A taller, stockier teen will naturally weigh more than a teen whose frame is smaller. The best way to determine how much you should be eating is to talk to a doctor. As a general rule, you need to cut down by 500 calories per day from your diet to lose 1 lb. of weight per week.

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