Estimation of energy requirements in a controlled feeding trial

Journal Article

Background: Estimating energy requirements is a frequent task in clinical studies. Objective: We examined weight patterns of participants enrolled in a clinical trial and evaluated factors that may affect weight stabilization. The Harris-Benedict equation and the FAO/WHO equation, used in conjunction with physical activity levels estimated with the 7-d Physical Activity Recall, were compared for estimating energy expenditure. Design: This was a multicenter, randomized controlled feeding trial with participants of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Trial. For 11 wk, the amount of food participants received was adjusted to maintain their body weights as close to their initial weights as possible. Change-point regression techniques were used to identify weight-stable periods. Factors related to achieving weight stabilization were examined with logistic regression. Results: A stable weight was achieved by 86% of the 448 participants during the run-in period and by 78% during the intervention period. Energy intake averaged 11 ± 2.4 MJ/d (2628±578 kcal/d), with most participants (n = 270) requiring 9-13 MJ/d (2100-3100 kcal/d). The difference between predicted and observed intakes was highest at high estimated energy intakes, mainly because of high and probably incorrect estimates of the activity factor. Participants with lower energy intakes tended to need less adjustment of their energy intakes to maintain a stable weight than did participants with higher energy intakes. Conclusions: Weight stabilization is not affected by diet composition, sex, race, age, or baseline weight. Either the Harris-Benedict equation or the FAO/WHO equation can be used to estimate energy needs. Activity factors > 1.7 often lead to overestimation of energy needs.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lin, P-H; Proschan, MA; Bray, GA; Fernandez, CP; Hoben, K; Most-Windhauser, M; Karanja, N; Obarzanek, E

Published Date

  • 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 77 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 639 - 645

PubMed ID

  • 12600854

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9165