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Chemistry LibreTexts

1.3: Units of Measure

  • Page ID
    139558
  • In nutrition, there are two systems of commonly used measurements: Metric and US Customary. We need both because the US won’t adopt the metric system completely.

    The Metric and US Customary System

    These are commonly used prefixes for the Metric System:

    Micro- (μ) 1/1,000,000th (one millionth)
    Milli- (m) 1/1000th (one thousandth)
    Centi- (c) 1/100th (one hundredth)
    Deci- (d) 1/10th (one tenth)
    Kilo- (k) 1000x (one thousand times)

    Mass

    Metric System US Customary System Conversions
    Microgram (μg) Ounce (oz) 1 oz = 28.35 g
    Milligram (mg) Pound (lb) 1 lb = 16 oz
    Gram (g) 1 lb = 454 g
    Kilogram (kg) 1 kg = 2.2 lbs

    Volume

    Metric System US Customary System Conversions
    Milliliter (mL) Teaspoon (tsp) 1 tsp = 5 mL
    Deciliter (dL) Tablespoon (tbsp) 1 tbsp = 3 tsp = 15 mL
    Liter (L) Fluid ounce (fl oz) 1 fl oz = 2 tbsp = 30 mL
    Cup (c) 1 c = 8 fl oz = 237 mL
    Pint (pt) 1 pt = 2 c = 16 fl oz
    Quart (qt) 1 qt = 4 c = 32 fl oz = 0.95 L
    Gallon (gal) = 4 qt 1 gal = 4 qt

    Length

    Metric System US Customary System Conversions
    Millimeter (mm) Inch (in) 1 in = 25.4 mm
    Centimeter (cm) Foot (ft) 1 ft= 30.5 cm
    Meter (m) Yard (yd) 1 yd = 0.9 m
    Kilometer (km) Mile (mi) 1 mi = 1.6 km

    Creative Commons License
    Units of Measure by University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Food Science and Human Nutrition Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.