Resting energy expenditure in children and adolescents: agreement between calorimetry and prediction equations

Clin Nutr. 2002 Jun;21(3):255-60. doi: 10.1054/clnu.2001.0531.


Background and aims: To assess the degree of agreement between indirect calorimetry and five equations commonly used to predict resting energy expenditure (REE) in obese and non-obese children and adolescents.

Methods: In 116 children and adolescents (57 obese and 59 non-obese) aged between 7.8 and 16.6 years, REE was measured (MREE) by open-circuit indirect calorimetry under standardized conditions. REE was predicted (PREE) in all subjects with equations from the Food and Agriculture/World Health Organization/United Nations University (FAO/WHO/UNU), Maffeis et al., Harris and Benedict, and two from Schofield: one using weight (W) and one using height and weight (H-W). Agreement between indirect calorimetry and equations was assessed following the Bland-Altman method.

Results: In the entire cohort group, only data from FAO/WHO/UNU, Schofield-W and Schofield-HW equations showed non-statistic differences against calorimetry results. When agreement between equations and calorimetry was tested, Schofield-HW equation showed the lowest mean MREE-PREE difference: 3.7 kcal/d (limits of agreement -293 and 300 kcal/d; 95% confidence interval for the bias -24.0 to 31.5 kcal/d) and the best agreement. Group by group, equations which obtained the best agreement were: FAO/WHO/UNU in girls, Schofield-HW in boys, Schofield-HW in obese, and Schofield-W in non-obese.

Conclusions: Until more accurate prediction equations are developed, we recommend Schofield-HW equations for REE studies with a mixed population of obese and non-obese children and adolescents; however, FAO/WHO/UNU equation may also be useful in girls and Schofield-W equation in non-obese children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Basal Metabolism*
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Calorimetry, Indirect
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mathematics
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results