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Open Access Research

Twenty-four hour metabolic rate measurements utilized as a reference to evaluate several prediction equations for calculating energy requirements in healthy infants

Russell Rising

Author affiliations

D & S Consulting Services Inc., 1 Horizon Rd, #1407, Fort Lee, NJ 07024 USA

Citation and License

Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:14  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-14

Published: 2 February 2011



To date, only short-duration metabolic rate measurements of less than four hours have been used to evaluate prediction equations for calculating energy requirements in healthy infants. Therefore, the objective of this analysis was to utilize direct 24-hour metabolic rate measurements from a prior study to evaluate the accuracy of several currently used prediction equations for calculating energy expenditure (EE) in healthy infants.


Data from 24-hour EE, resting (RMR) and sleeping (SMR) metabolic rates obtained from 10 healthy infants, served as a reference to evaluate 11 length-weight (LWT) and weight (WT) based prediction equations. Six prediction equations have been previously derived from 50 short-term EE measurements in the Enhanced Metabolic Testing Activity Chamber (EMTAC) for assessing 24-hour EE, (EMTACEE-LWT and EMTACEE-WT), RMR (EMTACRMR-LWT and EMTACRMR-WT) and SMR (EMTACSMR-LWT and EMTACSMR-WT). The last five additional prediction equations for calculating RMR consisted of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Schofield (SCH-LWT and SCH-WT) and the Oxford (OXFORD-LWT and OXFORD-WT). Paired t-tests and the Bland & Altman limit analysis were both applied to evaluate the performance of each equation in comparison to the reference data.


24-hour EE, RMR and SMR calculated with the EMTACEE-WT, EMTACRMR-WT and both the EMTACSMR-LWT and EMTACSMR-WT prediction equations were similar, p = NS, to that obtained from the reference measurements. However, RMR calculated using the WHO, SCH-LWT, SCH-WT, OXFORD-LWT and OXFORD-WT prediction equations were not comparable to the direct 24-hour metabolic measurements (p < 0.05) obtained in the 10 reference infants. Moreover, the EMTACEE-LWT and EMTACRMR-LWT were also not similar (p < 0.05) to direct 24-hour metabolic measurements.


Weight based prediction equations, derived from short-duration EE measurements in the EMTAC, were accurate for calculating EE, RMR and SMR in healthy infants.