The maintenance energy requirement for children: an estimate based on a study of children with infection associated underfeeding
AbstractMB Duggan and RD Milner An estimate of the maintenance energy requirement (MER) has been based on energy balance data from children fed at different levels of intake during and after acute measles. The relationship between apparent energy balance (B) and the metabolizable energy intake (ME) was investigated by regression analysis. The relationship between B and ME in 34 balance studies is given by B = 0.79 ME -211.9 (r = 0.91). The ME at zero B 268.3 kJ (64.1 kcal)/kg X 24 h is equivalent to the maintenance energy requirement (MER). Paired data on 16 children were used to study the relationship between MER and the resting metabolic rate (RMR). The relationship between MER and RMR during measles, ie at low levels of energy intake, is given by MER = 1.52 RMR -140.9 kJ/kg X 24 h (r = 0.79). The factorial relationship between MER and mean RMR was estimated, and also the safe level of intake to supply the MER when ME represents between 76% and 84% of gross energy (GE). The safe level of GE intake, between 381 and 416 kJ/kg X 24 h (ie between 91.1 and 99.4 kcal/kg X 24 h), is very close to the WHO/FAO (1973) recommendations for growing children.