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Factorial estimation of daily energy expenditure in university students: comparison with recorded energy intake

Factorial estimation of daily energy expenditure in university students: comparison with recorded energy intake

Australian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics 48(3): 95-99

This study compares factorial estimates of energy expenditure (EE) obtained using a new '16-activity category' method with records of energy intake (EI) in 113 nutrition students (49 females, 12 males external students, and 46 females, 6 males internal) with a view to determining food energy requirements. EI was measured from 7-day weighed dietary records. Activity level and EE were measured from 7-day records of times spent in 16 activity categories and their average energy costs expressed as multiples of basal metabolic rate (BMR). Body weight change during the 7-day study was recorded. Female external students were more active and had a higher EE than internal students (activity levels of 1.61 X BMR (sd 0.10) and 1.50 X BMR (sd 0.09) respectively, p < 0.001, and EE's of 9.03 MJ/d (sd 0.76) and 8.40 MJ/d (sd 0.82) respectively, p < 0.001). Energy intake was the same in the internal and external female groups (7.4 MJ/d, sd 1.23 and 1.67). In all groups, EI was significantly lower than EE (11-19% lower in females, p < 0.01-0.001; and 12.5% lower in males, p < 0.05), the ratio EI:BMR was lower than 1.4 X BMR, and body weight tended to be lost during the study. Estimation of daily EE from EI adjusted for the energy content of weight change (assuming an energy content of 32 kJ/g of weight change) gave EE values which were 3-5% less than but not significantly different from the factorial estimates of EE. These results suggest that 7-day records of EI underestimated EE and energy requirements in our subjects.

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