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Energy for Life

In this worksheet, students will explore how the energy needs of people differ and how the energy contained within foods is measured.

'Energy for Life' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Biology: Structure and Function of Living Organisms

Curriculum subtopic:   Nutrition and Digestion

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

Your body changes the chemical energy contained within the food you eat into the energy you need to stay alive. 


Different foods contain different amounts of energy. For example, a typical meal of a hamburger, chips and a fizzy drink contains about 4000 kJ of energy.


Fast food


The hamburger contains approximately 2000 kJ, the chips contain 1300 kJ and the fizzy drink contains about 700 kJ of energy.


This may seem like a lot of energy, but different people have different energy needs depending on their age and lifestyle. Shown below are the approximate energy needs of a wide range of people.

People of differing ages

Person Energy need per day (kJ)
2 year old  4000
10 year old 8000
14 year old girl 10000
14 year old boy 12000
Adult female 10000
Adult male 11000
Adult male with an active job 14000


The energy needs depend on age and lifestyle. An active person requires more energy than a person who works at a computer most of the day.


It is important to provide your body with the correct amount of energy. 


If a person takes in a lot of energy but does not lead an active lifestyle then they may become overweight, but a person who does not take in enough energy may become underweight, both of which can cause health issues.


It is also important to have a balanced diet, containing the correct amounts of vitamins and minerals.

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