How Many Calories Do Older Adults Need?

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March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.

Most older adults need fewer calories than they did in their younger years. The number of calories you need each day depends on your age, gender and activity level. The chart below lists average calorie levels for adults 51 years and over. To find out how many calories you need each day, visit




Activity Level


Women aged 51+


Men aged 51+

Sedentary (not active) 1,600 2,000
Moderately active 1,800 2,200 to 2,400
Active 2,000 to 2,200 2,400 to 2,800

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