Resting energy expenditures in Asian women measured by indirect calorimetry are lower than expenditures calculated from prediction equations

J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Nov;97(11):1288-92. doi: 10.1016/S0002-8223(97)00308-8.


Objective: Measured resting energy expenditure (REE) and REEs calculated using the Harris-Benedict equation, Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization/United Nations University (FAO/WHO/UNU) equations (FAO equations), and the Liu equation were compared in Asian women.

Design: REEs were measured using indirect calorimetry in the morning after an overnight fast and compared with REEs calculated using the Harris-Benedict equation, the FAO equations, and the Liu equation. Height, weight, and 3-day diet records were also obtained.

Subjects: Thirty-six healthy, free-living Asian women aged 19 to 52 years and living in the United States were recruited from Washington State University, Pullman, and completed the study.

Statistical analyses: Paired t tests, stepwise regression, one-way analysis of variance, and Pearson correlation coefficients were used for the statistical analyses. Significance was set at P < or = .05.

Results: A significant correlation was found between measured REE and REE derived from the Harris-Benedict equation (R = 0.67, P < .0001), the FAO equations (R = 0.70, P < .0001), and the Liu equation (R = 0.70, P < .0001). However, measured REE was significantly lower than REE calculated using the Harris-Benedict and FAO equations by 8.5% (P < .001) and 5.4% (P < .01), respectively. No significant difference was noted between measured REE and REE derived from the Liu equation.

Applications: Caution must be taken when predicting REE of Asian women using the Harris-Benedict equation or the FAO equation. Indirect calorimetry or an equation specific to Asians, such as the Liu equation, is recommended when an accurate estimate is necessary.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anthropometry
  • Asia / ethnology
  • Asian People*
  • Basal Metabolism*
  • Calorimetry, Indirect*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Washington