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How Many Calories Does the Average American Eat Daily?

author image Jingna Zhao
Jingna Zhao started writing professionally in 2010. Her work has appeared in the "Dartmouth Journal of Science" and she serves on the journal's editorial board. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Dartmouth College.
How Many Calories Does the Average American Eat Daily?
A woman takes a slice of pizza. Photo Credit ARICAN/iStock/Getty Images

How many calories a person needs to eat each day for optimum health depends on many factors, such as sex, height, age and genetics. Researchers can find the average calories that a population eats through surveys and calculating the calories per capita.

USDA: Calories Per Capita

Calories per capita indicates the amount of food consumed per person. The average daily per capita calorie consumption for the U.S. in 2010 was 2,534, according to a report from the University of Michigan.

Average Adult Consumption

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey done for the years 2005 to 2006 concluded that the average American adult male, age 20 years and older, consumes 2,638 calories daily, and the average adult female of that age group consumes 1,785 calories.

Younger Americans

According to the same study, 2- to 5-year-old males consume an average of 1,641 calories, while females of the same age group consume 1,486 calories. Six- to 11-year-old males consume 2,092 calories on average daily, while females consume 1,879 calories. Twelve- to 19-year-old males eat 2,707 calories on average, and females take in 1,906 calories daily.

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