Web Content Viewer (JSR 286) - Healthy Weight


Greasy hamburger and chipsWhen we talk about energy, what do we mean? Is energy always a good thing? And kilojoules and calories – what are they?


The meaning of energy depends on the context. If you look at ads for breakfast cereals and snack foods, you would think energy is wonderful. And it is true – to a point. We all need energy to get through the day. We get the energy we need from the foods we eat and the drinks we drink.

But the difficulty is that it’s easy to eat and drink too much energy over time and end up overweight. It’s important to get the energy balance right – to only take in as much energy from foods and drinks as you need.

If you do take in extra energy, you can help balance your requirements by doing more physical activity. However, depending on how much extra energy you have taken, this could mean a substantial amount more physical activity is required. So try not to make this a habit and ensure you are aware of how much extra physical activity you need to do.

Kilojoules and calories

Kilojoules and calories are both measurements of energy, like a kilometre is a measure of distance. Calories are the older style of measurement, like feet and inches. Kilojoules, or kJ, is the modern style of measurement, like centimetres and metres. Most Australian books and websites use kilojoules, but calories are still used in some other parts of the world.

To convert from kilojoules to calories you divide the number of kilojoules by 4.2.

To convert from calories to kilojoules you multiply the number of kilojoules by 4.2.

This easy to use calorie and kilojoule converter can do the calculation for you.

Food labels tell you how much energy a food contains in kilojoules. To find out how much energy you should eat and drink in a day, see the Eat for Health website or register with the Healthy Weight Guide. 



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