Medical Definition of Kilocalorie

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Kilocalorie: The term used to represent the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of a liter of water one degree centigrade at sea level.

In nutrition terms, the word calorie is commonly used to refer to a unit of food energy. (The word calorie is used instead of the more precise scientific term kilocalorie.) Technically, however, this common usage of the word calorie of food energy is understood to refer to a kilocalorie (and actually represents, therefore, 1000 true calories of energy).

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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