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Medicine LibreTexts

1.3: Units of Measure

Skills to Develop

  • Learn about commonly used measurements in nutrition

The Metric and US Customary System

These are commonly used prefixes for the Metric System:

Table \(\PageIndex{1}\): Commonly used prefixes.

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

Table \(\PageIndex{2}\): Units for 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

Table \(\PageIndex{2}\): Units for 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

Table \(\PageIndex{3}\): Units for 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

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