A calorie is a measurement of the energy a person receives from the food he or she eats. Energy is supplied from food as it is digested in the stomach and intestines. This energy allows the body to build up proteins, cleanse itself through organ function, and produce adequate nutrients for strength in bones, to perform with efficient functioning while remaining healthy as the burning calories are spent.

For persons counting calories, most people require a calorie intake of anywhere from 1,000 to approximately 4,000 daily. The calorie content needed depends on the person's lifestyle, including exercise activities, gender and age. An average person's caloric diet is usually in the range of 1,500 to 2,400. This includes adult women, persons older than middle age, young men and adolescent boys. Older children usually require approximately 2,000 per day. High calorie foods that are ingested without adequate exercise result in storing of the calories, turning them into stored fat.

Calorie guides can be found on the labeling of all food products. The process by which these calories are calculated is called Direct Calorimetry. This is accomplished through a process of burning a specific food in a chamber. The chamber itself is filled with oxygen, and is immersed in water. Through the burning, the water is heated and its temperature measured. The number of degrees the temperature of the water increases is the amount of calories in the food. If the water is 50 degrees previous to burning, and then after burning the water is 80 degrees, the food in question has 30 calories.

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