According to this new scientific opinion, energy requirements are the amount of energy from food needed to maintain body mass, growth and development and support a level of physical activity consistent with long-term good health. Energy provided in the diet comes form various sources, such as carbohydrates, fats, protein and alcohol, and as a result dietary reference values (DRVs) for energy are not specified as defined amounts of a single nutrient, but are expressed in units of energy.
The average energy requirements of the specified age and gender groups were calculated to account for different levels of physical activity and are based on an assumed healthy body mass index of 22kg/m2.
For example, ARs for boys/girls age 6 were set at 1,500-1,600 kcal/day; boys/girls age 12: 2,000-2,200; boys/girls age 17: 2,300-2,900; men/women age 30-39: 2,000-2,600; men/women age 50-59: 2,000-2,500; men/women age 70-79: 1,800-2,300.
The ARs take into account physical activity levels (PALs) that correspond to sedentary, moderately active, very active and highly active lifestyles. These PALs are defined by factors such as: type of work, the amount of daily exercise taken and daily household tasks undertaken, including shopping and cooking. The ARs should be adjusted according to different contexts, such as for people or population groups with BMIs above or below 22kg/m2.