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Tuck In: Official Calorie Limits Are Too Low, Say Scientists

21/02/2011 10:06 | Updated 22 May 2015

Health and obesity experts aren't going to like it at all. But the rest of us might. The increasing of the recommended daily calorie allowance, that is, which is expected to be raised in the spring in a report by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN).

woman-eating-bar-of-chocolate-caloriesWith 320 extra calories you could eat a small bar of chocolate. Photo: Getty Images, Matt Cardy

So why are they going up, you might wonder? Well according to SACN experts, current calorie limits - that's 2,000 a day for women and 2,500 for men - are too low because the figures underestimate the number of calories we burn off when we breathe, sleep and walk.

As a result, the official guidelines could be increased by up to 16% - that's 320 extra calories for women and 400 for men (the limits would become 2,320 and 2,900 for women and men respectively).

If they're right, it could explain why it can be difficult to stick to the current official calorie limits, especially if you're the kind of person who likes your food. So for instance, with an extra 320 calories a day you could eat a small bar of chocolate without the guilt (though that's by no means a recommendation from the MyDaily team, as we'll obviously be using our added calories wisely).

The SACN first angered health experts - who are understandably worried about rising levels of obesity in this country - when it published draft proposals to increase recommended daily calorie allowances over a year ago. According to critics of the report, raising the recommended daily calorie allowance will just give many people who are already overweight the green light to scoff more, when really they should be eating less.

Do you welcome the new calorie limits, or do you think raising them is a dangerous idea?

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