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Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Mar;85(3):742-9.

Evaluation of a portable device to measure daily energy expenditure in free-living adults.

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  • 1Metabolic Dysfunction Laboratory, Nutrition Department, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada.



Increasing daily energy expenditure (EE) plays an important role in the prevention or treatment of several lifestyle-related diseases; however, its measurement remains problematic.


The objective was to evaluate a portable armband device for measuring daily and physical activity EE compared with doubly labeled water (DLW) in free-living individuals.


Daily EE and physical activity EE were measured in 45 subjects over a 10-d period simultaneously with 2 techniques: a portable armband and DLW. Resting metabolic rate was measured by indirect calorimetry, and the thermic effect of a meal was estimated (10% of daily EE). Physical activity EE was obtained by subtracting the values for resting metabolic rate and thermic effect of a meal measured with DLW from those measured with the armband. Body composition was measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Concordance between measures was evaluated by intraclass correlation, SEE, regression analysis, and Bland-Altman plots.


Mean estimated daily EE measured with the armband was 117 kcal/d lower (2375 +/- 366 kcal/d) than that measured with DLW (2492 +/- 444 kcal/d; P < 0.01). Despite this group difference, individual comparisons between the armband and DLW were close, as evidenced by an intraclass correlation of 0.81 (P < 0.01).


The portable armband shows reasonable concordance with DLW for measuring daily EE in free-living adults. The armband may therefore be useful to estimate daily EE.

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