Posted by: Marian van Niekerk | 2008-11-09

1 kilocalorie = 4.2 kilojoules !!!!!

According to your article in Calorie Corner (Dieting - cut the confusion) 1 calorie = 4.2 kJ. According to what I am being taught and my nutrition textbook and numerous other websites 1kilocalorie = 4.2 kilojoules! Thus, also 420kJ = 100 Kcal and NOT 100 calories! Your whole article is wrong and thus confusing to the lay person. Marian (BSc CHS, UWC)

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Our expert says:
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Dear Marian
I am aware of the use of kilojoules and kilocalories, but if you read all the publications intended for the public then the units of energy that are used are calories (NOT kilocalories) and kilojoules. The term “calorie” has been adopted in general parlance for the kilocalorie. I do not believe it my role to start the task of changing this method of referring to energy in the non-metric system as it will cause a great deal of confusion. Transmitting nutrition messages is difficult enough as it is. As a nutrition expert you will understand that there is often a difference between the terminology used for communicating with your peers and transmitting messages to individuals who are not experts in the field.

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