Total Energy Expenditure in Obese Kuwaiti Primary School Children Assessed by the Doubly-Labeled Water Technique

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Oct 13;13(10):1007. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13101007.


The aim of this pilot study was to assess body composition and total energy expenditure (TEE) in 35 obese 7-9 years old Kuwaiti children (18 girls and 17 boys). Total body water (TBW) and TEE were assessed by doubly-labeled water technique. TBW was derived from the intercept of the elimination rate of deuterium and TEE from the difference in elimination rates of 18O and deuterium. TBW was used to estimate fat-free mass (FFM), using hydration factors for different ages and gender. Fat mass (FM) was calculated as the difference between body weight and FFM. Body weight was not statistically different but TBW was significantly higher (p = 0.018) in boys (44.9% ± 3.3%) than girls (42.4% ± 3.0%), while girls had significantly higher estimated FM (45.2 ± 3.9 weight % versus 41.6% ± 4.3%; p = 0.014). TEE was significantly higher in boys (2395 ± 349 kcal/day) compared with girls (1978 ± 169 kcal/day); p = 0.001. Estimated physical activity level (PAL) was significantly higher in boys; 1.61 ± 0.167 versus 1.51 ± 0.870; p = 0.034. Our results provide the first dataset of TEE in 7-9 years old obese Kuwaiti children and highlight important gender differences to be considered during the development of school based interventions targeted to combat childhood obesity.

Keywords: body composition; children; obesity; total energy expenditure.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Body Composition*
  • Body Water
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kuwait
  • Male
  • Pediatric Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Schools
  • Sex Factors