Nutrient Requirements

Nutrition for Special Groups 3(3+0)

Lesson 34 : Nutrition for Defense Personnel

Nutrient Requirements


The MDRIs for calories can meet the needs of the average Army personnel. Men and women should have 3,250 to 4,600 and 2,300 to 3,150 calories, respectively, per day, which will fluctuate based on size. The Departments of the Navy, Air Force and Army say the daily calorie requirements are based on a 174-pound, 69-inch man and a 136-pound, 64-inch woman. Individuals who are smaller than the reference size will require fewer calories, and larger individuals might have higher needs.

Activity level and environment also affect caloric needs. Federal guidelines say heavy work or prolonged, vigorous physical training can increase calorie needs by 125 percent. Cold temperatures can increase calorie requirements by 5 percent to 10 percent, and individuals who perform strenuous work at altitudes above 10,000 feet might need 6,000 to 7,000 calories or 50 to 60 calories per kilogram of body weight per day.


Carbohydrates, protein and fat are considered macronutrients. The MDRIs recommend a diet that is 50 percent to 55 percent carbohydrates, 10 percent to 15 percent protein and less than 30 percent fat. Saturated fat should comprise less than 10 percent of the diet, and cholesterol should be limited to less than 300 mg per day.

Last modified: Wednesday, 9 May 2012, 6:39 AM