Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Basal metabolic rate studies in humans: measurement and development of new equations

  • CJK Henry (a1)
Abstract
AbstractObjective

To facilitate the Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization/United Nations University Joint (FAO/WHO/UNU) Expert Consultation on Energy and Protein Requirements which met in Rome in 1981, Schofield et al. reviewed the literature and produced predictive equations for both sexes for the following ages: 0–3, 3–10, 10–18, 18–30, 30–60 and >60 years. These formed the basis for the equations used in 1985 FAO/WHO/UNU document, Energy and Protein Requirements.

While Schofield's analysis has served a significant role in re-establishing the importance of using basal metabolic rate (BMR) to predict human energy requirements, recent workers have subsequently queried the universal validity and application of these equations. A survey of the most recent studies (1980–2000) in BMR suggests that in most cases the current FAO/WHO/UNU predictive equations overestimate BMR in many communities. The FAO/WHO/UNU equations to predict BMR were developed using a database that contained a disproportionate number – 3388 out of 7173 (47%) – of Italian subjects. The Schofield database contained relatively few subjects from the tropical region.

The objective here is to review the historical development in the measurement and application of BMR and to critically review the Schofield et al. BMR database presenting a series of new equations to predict BMR.

Design

This division, while arbitrary, will enable readers who wish to omit the historical review of BMR to concentrate on the evolution of the new BMR equations.

Setting

BMR data collected from published and measured values.

Subjects

A series of new equations (Oxford equations) have been developed using a data set of 10 552 BMR values that (1) excluded all the Italian subjects and (2) included a much larger number (4018) of people from the tropics.

Results

In general, the Oxford equations tend to produce lower BMR values than the current FAO/WHO/UNU equations in 18–30 and 30–60 year old males and in all females over 18 years of age.

Conclusions

This is an opportune moment to re-examine the role and place of BMR measurements in estimating total energy requirements today. The Oxford equations' future use and application will surely depend on their ability to predict more accurately the BMR in contemporary populations.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Basal metabolic rate studies in humans: measurement and development of new equations
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Basal metabolic rate studies in humans: measurement and development of new equations
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Basal metabolic rate studies in humans: measurement and development of new equations
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email jhenry@brookes.ac.uk
References
Hide All
1FAO/WHO/UNU. Energy and Protein Requirements. Report of a Joint FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation. Technical Report Series No. 724. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1985.
2Mitchell HH. Comparative Nutrition of Man and Domestic Animals. Vol. 1. New York: Academic Press, 1964.
3Aub JC, DuBois EF. Clinical calorimetry: the basal metabolism of dwarfs and legless men with observations on the specific dynamic action of protein.Archives of Internal Medicine 1917; 19: 840–64.
4Aub JC, DuBois EF. The basal metabolism of old men. Archives of Internal Medicine 1917; 19: 823–31.
5Krogh A. Determination of standard (basal) metabolism of patients by recording apparatus. Boston Medical Surgery Journal 1923; 189: 313–7.
6Blaxter K. Energy Metabolism in Animals and Man Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
7DuBois EF, Ebaugh FG, Hardy JD. Basal heat production and elimination of thirteen normal women at temperatures from 22–35°C. Journal of Nutrition 1952; 48: 257–93.
8Wilkerson JE, Raven PB, Horvath SM. Critical temperature of unacclimatized male Caucasians. Journal of Applied Physiology 1972; 33: 451–5.
9Pi-Suner J. Studies in racial metabolism: basal metabolism of the Araucanian Mapuches. American Journal of Physiology 1933; 105: 383–8.
10Roth P, Buckingham PE. The criteria of a dependable basal metabolism report. American Journal of Clinical Pathology 1939; 9: 7992.
11Harris JA, Benedict FG. A Biometric Study of Basal Metabolism in Man. Publication No. 279. Washington: Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1919.
12Bedale EM. Energy expenditure and food requirements of children at school. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 1923; 94: 368404.
13FAO. Calorie Requirements. Report of the Second Committee on Calorie Requirements. Nutritional Studies No. 15. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization, 1957.
14Roth PR. Portable respiration apparatus for clinical use. Boston Medical Surgery Journal 1922; 186: 457.
15Boothby WM, Berkson J, Dunn HL. Studies of the energy metabolism of normal individuals: a standard for basal metabolism, with a nomogram for clinical application. American Journal of Physiology 1936; 116: 468–84.
16Durnin JVGA. Basal Metabolic Rate in Man. Working paper submitted to the Joint FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation on Energy and Protein Requirements. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization, 1981.
17Krogh A. Respiratory Exchange of Animals and Man. New York: Longmans, 1916.
18Benedict FG. Portable respiration apparatus for clinical use. Boston Medical Surgery Journal 1918; 178: 667.
19Lewis RC, Iliff A, Duval AM. Further consideration of the effect of altitude on basal metabolism. The Journal of Nutrition 1943; 26: 175–85.
20Lewis RC, Iliff A, Duval AM. The comparative accuracy of the closed circuit bedside method and the open circuit chamber procedure for the determination of basal metabolism. Journal of Laboratory Clinical Medicine 1943; 28: 1238–45.
21Lewis RC, Duval AM, Iliff A. Standards for the basal metabolism of children from 2 to 15 years of age, inclusive. Journal of Pediatrics 1943; 23: 118.
22Willard HN, Wolf GA Jr. A source of error in the determination of basal metabolism by the closed-circuit technique. Annual International Medicine 1951; 34: 148–62.
23Segal KR. Comparison of indirect calorimetric measurement of resting energy expenditure with a ventilated hood, face mask, and mouthpiece. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1987; 45: 1420–3.
24Shetty PS, Soares MJ, Sheela ML. Basal Metabolic Rates of South Indian Males. Bangalore: Food and Agriculture Organization, 1986.
25Soares MJ, Sheela ML, Kurpad AV, Kulkarni RN, Shetty PS. The influence of different methods on basal metabolic rate measurements in human subjects. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1989; 50: 731–6.
26Consolazio CF, Johnson RE, Pecora LJ. Physiological Measurements of Metabolic Function in Man. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963.
27Clark HD, Hoffer LF. Reappraisal of the resting metabolic rate of normal young men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1991; 53: 21–6.
28Fowler WS, Blackburn CM, Helmholz HF Jr. Determination of basal rate of oxygen consumption by open and closed-circuit methods. Journal of Clinical Endocrinological Metabolism 1957; 17: 786–96.
29Schofield WN, Schofield C, James WPT. Basal metabolic rate – review and prediction, together with an annotated bibliography of source material. Human Nutrition Clinical Nutrition 1985; 39C: 596.
30DuBois D, DuBois EF. The measurements of the surface area of man. Archives of Internal Medicine 1915; 15: 868–75.
31Daly JM, Heymsfield SB, Head CA, Harvey LP, Nixon DW, Katzeff H, Grossman GD. Human energy requirements: over estimation by widely used prediction equation. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1985; 42: 1170–4.
32Alpers PH, Stevenson WF, Bier DM. Manual of Nutritional Therapeutics Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 1995.
33Boothby WM, Sandiford I. A comparison of the DuBois and the Harris and Benedict normal standards for the estimation of basal metabolic rate. Journal of Biological Chemistry 1922; 54: 767–81.
34Boothby WM, Sandiford I. Summary of the basal metabolic data on 8614 subjects with special reference to the normal standards for the estimation of the basal metabolic rate. Journal of Biological Chemistry 1922; 54: 783803.
35Quenouille MH, Boyne AW, Fisher WB, Leitch I. Statistical Studies of Recorded Energy Expenditure of Man. Basal Metabolism Related to Sex, Stature, Age, Climate, and Race. Commonwealth Bureau of Animal Nutrition. Technical Communication No. 17. Aberdeen: Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau, 1951.
36de Almeida AO. L'emission de chaleur. Le metabolisme basal et le metabolisme mimimum de l'homme noir tropical. Journal de Physiologie et Pathologie General 1921; 18: 958–64.
37Henry CJK, Rees DG. New predictive equations for the estimation of basal metabolic rate in tropical peoples. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1991; 45: 177–85.
38de Boer JO, van Es AJH, Voorrips LE, Blockstra F, Vogt JE. Energy metabolism and requirements in different ethnic groups. European Journal Clinical Nutrition 1988; 42: 983–97.
39Arciero PJ, Goran MI, Gardner AM, Ades PA, Tyzbir RS, Poehlman ET. A practical equation to predict resting metabolic rate in older females. Journal of American Geriatric Society 1993; 41: 389–95.
40Piers LS, Shetty PS. Basal metabolic rates of Indian women. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1993; 47: 586–91.
41Hayter JE, Henry CJK. A re-examination of basal metabolic rate predictive equations: the importance of geographic origin of subjects in sample selection. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1994; 48: 702–7.
42Valencia ME, Moya SY, McNeill G, Haggarty P. Basal metabolic rate and body fatness of adult men in northern Mexico. European Journal Clinical Nutrition 1994; 48: 205–11.
43Wong WW, Butte NF, Hergenroeder AC, Hill RB, Stuff JE, Smith EO. Are basal metabolic rate prediction equations appropriate for female children and adolescents? Journal of Applied Physiology 1996; 81: 2407–14.
44Soares MJ, Francis DG, Shetty PS. Predictive equations for basal metabolic rates of Indian males. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1993; 47: 389–94.
45Cruz CM, daSilva AF, dos Anjos LA. A taxa metabica basal e superestimade pelas equa co es preditivas em universitaras do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Archivio Latino americano Nutricion 1999; 49: 232–7.
46Dietz WH, Bandini LG, Schoeller DA. Estimates of metabolic rate in obese and non-obese adolescents. Journal of Pediatrics 1991; 118: 140–9.
47Cunningham JJ. A reanalysis of the factors influencing basal metabolic rate in normal adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1980; 33: 23723374.
48Cunningham JJ. Body composition as a determinant of energy expenditure: a synthetic review and a proposed general prediction equation. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1991; 54: 963–9.
49Hayter J, Henry CJK. Basal metabolic rate in human subjects migrating between tropical and temperate regions – a longitudinal study and review of previous work. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1993; 47: 724–34.
50Ho Z-C, Zi HM, Bo L, Ping H. Energy expenditure of pre school children in a subtropical area. World Reviews in Nutrition Dietetics 1988; 57: 7594.
51Min Q, Ho Z-C. The basal metabolism rate of adolescent girls in the sub-tropical areas of China. Acta Nutrimenta Sinica 1991; 13: 252–8.
52Spurr GB, Reina JC, Hoffmann RG. Basal metabolic rate of Colombian children 2–16 years of age: ethnicity and nutritional status. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1992; 56: 623–9.
53Torun B, Davies PSW, Livingstone MBE, Paolisso M, Sackett R, Spurr GB. Energy requirements and dietary energy recommendations for children and adolescents 1 to 18 years old. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1996; 50(Suppl. 1): S37–S81.
54Livingstone MBE, Coward WA, Prentice AM, Davies PSW, Strain JJ, McKenna PG, Mahoney CA, White JA, Stewart CM, Kerr MJJ. Daily energy expenditure in free living children: comparison of heart-rate monitoring with the doubly labelled water (2H218O) method. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1992; 56: 343–52.
55Bandini LG, Schoeller DA, Dietz WH Jr. Energy expenditure in obese and non-obese adolescents. Pediatric Research 1990; 27: 198203.
56Case KO, Brahler CJ, Heiss C. Resting energy expenditures in Asian women measured by indirect calorimetry are lower than expenditures calculated from prediction equations. Journal of American Dietetic Association 1997; 97: 1288–92.
57Leung R, Woo J, Chan D, Tang N. Validation of prediction equations for basal metabolic rate in Chinese subjects. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000; 54: 551–4.
58Piers LS, Diffey B, Soares MJ, Frandsen SL, McCormack LM, Lutschini MJ, O'Dea K. The validity of predicting the basal metabolic rate of young Australian men and women. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1997; 51: 333–7.
59Ferro-Luzzi A, Petracchi C, Kuriyan R, Kurpad AV. Basal metabolism of weight-stable chronically undernourished men and women: lack of metabolic adaptation and ethnic differences. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1997; 66: 1086–93.
60Yamauchi T, Ohtsuka R. Basal metabolic rate and energy costs at rest and during exercise in rural- and urban-dwelling Papua New Guinea Highlanders. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000; 54: 494–9.
61Norgan NG. Population differences in body composition in relation to the Body Mass Index. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1994; 48(Suppl. 3) S10–S27.
62Shetty PS, Henry CJK, Black AE, Prentice AM. Energy requirements of adults: an update on basal metabolic rates (BMRs) and physical activity levels (PALs). European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1996; 50(Suppl. 1): S11–S23.
63Hayter J, Henry CJK. Basal metabolic rate in human subjects migrating between tropical and temperate regions – a longitudinal study and review of previous work. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1993; 47: 724–34.
64Poehlman ET, Melby CL, Badylak SF. Resting metabolic rate and post-prandial thermogenesis in highly trained and untrained males. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1988; 47: 793–8.
65Robertson JD, Reid DD. Standards for the basal metabolism of normal people in Britain. The Lancet 1952; 1: 940–9.
66Benedict FG, Garven HSD. The basal metabolism of male Chinese in Manchuria. Chinese Journal of Physiology 1936; 10: 141–8.
67Benedict FG, Meyer MH. The basal metabolism of American-born Chinese girls. Chinese Journal of Physiology 1933; 7: 4560.
68Benedict FG, Miles WR, Roth P, Monmouth Smith H. Human Vitality and Efficiency Under Prolonged Restricted Diet. Washington: Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1919, 280.
69Benedict FG, Talbot FB. The Gaseous Metabolism of Infants. Washington: Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1914, 201.
70Benedict FG. Age and basal metabolism of adults. Journal of Biological Chemistry 1928; 80: 650–64.
71Benedict FG. Basal metabolism data on normal men and women (series II) with some considerations on the use of prediction standards. Journal of Biological Chemistry 1928; 8: 607–20.
72Benedict FG. Factors affecting basal metabolism. Journal of Biological Chemistry 1915; 20: 263–99.
73Benedict FG. Metabolism and Growth from Birth to Puberty. Washington: Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1921, 302.
74Benedict FG. Old age and basal metabolism. New England Journal of Medicine 1935; 212: 1111–23.
75Benedict FG. The basal metabolism of girls 12 to 17 years of age. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 1921; 1013.
76Lewis RC, Kinsman GM, Iliff A. The basal metabolism of normal boys and girls from two to twelve years old, inclusive. American Journal of Diseases in Childhood 1937; 53: 348428.
77Lewis WH. Changes with age in the basal metabolic rate in adult men. American Journal of Physiology 1934; 12: 502–17.
78Mason ED, Benedict FG. The basal metabolism of South Indian Women. Independent Journal of Medical Research 1931; 19: 7598.
79Mason ED, Benedict FG. The effect of sleep on human basal metabolism, with particular reference to South Indian women. American Journal of Physiology 1934; 108: 377–83.
80Mason ED, Jacob M. Variations in basal metabolic rate: responses to changes between tropical and temperate climates. Human Biology 1972; 44: 141–72.
81Mason ED. The basal metabolism of European women in South India and the effect of change of climate on European and South Indian Women. Journal of Nutrition 1934; 8: 695713.
82Nakagawa I. Growth and basal metabolism. Basal metabolism of preschool children. American Journal of Diseases in Childhood 1934; 47: 963–9.
83Nakagawa I. Growth and basal metabolism. Basal metabolism of elementary school children. American Journal of Diseases in Childhood 1934; 48: 34–8.
84Nakagawa I. Growth and basal metabolism. Changes in the basal metabolism of children during a year. American Journal of Diseases in Childhood 1935; 49: 1232–9.
85Nakagawa I. Growth and basal metabolism. Basal metabolism of high school children. American Journal of Diseases in Childhood 1937; 51: 985–9.
86Wardlaw HSH, Davies HW, Joseph MR. Energy metabolism and insensible perspiration of Australian Aborigines. Australian Journal of Experimental Biology 1934; 12: 6373.
87Wardlaw HSH, Horsley CH. The basal metabolism of some Australian Aborigines. Australian Journal of Experimental Biology 1928; 5: 263–72.
88Wardlaw HSH, Lawrence WJ. Further observations on the basal metabolism of Australian Aborigines. Australian Journal of Experimental Biology 1932; 10: 157–65.
89Wang CC, Hawks JE. Basal metabolism of twenty-one Chinese children reared or born and reared in the United States. American Journal of Diseases in Childhood 1932; 44: 6980.
90Wang CC, Kaucher M, Wing M. Metabolism of adolescent girls. Basal metabolism and energy exchange. American Journal of Diseases in Childhood 1936; 51: 801–15.
91Wang CC, Kern R, Frank M, Hays BB. Metabolism of undernourished children. Basal metabolism. American Journal of Diseases in Childhood 1926; 32: 350–9.
92Wang CC. Basal metabolism and preformed total creatinine in urine of seventy children. American Journal of Diseases in Childhood 1939; 57: 838–50.
93Wang CC. Basal metabolism of American-born Chinese girls and of American girls of the same age. American Journal of Diseases in Childhood 1934; 48: 1041.
94Holland B, Welch AA, Unwin ID, Buss DH, Paul AA, Southgate DAT. McCance and Widdowson's the Composition of Foods, 5th edn. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry, 1991.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 26
Total number of PDF views: 6133 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 5701 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.