Estimating total daily energy requirements in community-dwelling older adults: validity of previous predictive equations and modeling of a new approach

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2021 Jan;75(1):133-140. doi: 10.1038/s41430-020-00717-0. Epub 2020 Aug 19.


Background/objectives: Accurate estimation of energy requirements is crucial for health maintenance and prevention of malnutrition in older adults. This study aimed to assess the accuracy of predictive equations for estimating energy requirements in older adults and to test the validity of new predictive equations for this age group.

Subjects/methods: This is a cross-sectional study including 38 Brazilian community-dwelling older adults aged 60-84 years, who had their total energy expenditure measured by doubly labeled water (TEEDLW). The energy expenditure was compared to the Institute of Medicine (Dietary Reference Intake (DRI)) and Vinken et al. previous predictive equations and three predictive models developed in a modeling sample. The agreement was assessed using intra-class correlation coefficient, Bland-Altman plots, and Lin's concordance correlation. Accuracy was evaluated considering ±10% of the ratio between estimated and measured energy expenditure.

Results: The mean (standard deviation) TEEDLW was 2656.7 (405.6) kcal/day for men and 2168.9 (376.9) for women. Vinken et al. and both DRI equations presented moderate to good degree of agreement, while the developed models vary from fair to very good agreement in comparison to DLW. The accuracy rate was the same for both DRI equations and Vinken et al. equation (60.53%). The new equations developed in this study had accuracy in predicting TEE for Brazilian older adults varying from 43.11% to 73.68%.

Conclusions: The results corroborate the use of previous predictive equations for estimating energy requirements in Brazilian older adults. Further studies have the potential to explore the use of the developed models to assess energy needs in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Basal Metabolism
  • Brazil
  • Calorimetry, Indirect
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Independent Living*
  • Male
  • Nutritional Requirements