Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Aug;92(2):313-9. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.29388. Epub 2010 Jun 9.

Energy expenditure and physical activity of ambulatory children with cerebral palsy and of typically developing children.

Author information

  • 1Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia.



Children with cerebral palsy (CP) expend more energy when walking than do their typically developing peers. The effect this has on physical activity levels (PALs) and on total energy expenditure (TEE) will have important implications when determining energy requirements.


This study aimed to investigate the components of TEE in children with CP in comparison with typically developing children and to determine what effect the higher energy expenditure during walking has in ambulatory children with CP on PAL and on TEE.


Sixteen children with mild CP and 16 typically developing children, aged 5-12 y, were recruited for the study. Resting energy expenditure (REE) and the energy expenditure during walking were measured by using indirect calorimetry. TEE was determined by using the doubly labeled water technique. PAL was calculated as the ratio of TEE to REE. Body composition was estimated by using oxygen-18.


TEE was lower in children with CP (7012 +/- 1268 kJ/d) than in typically developing children (8309 +/- 2088 kJ/d) because of a lower PAL (1.57 +/- 0.23 compared with 1.79 +/- 0.26). The children with CP expended significantly more energy when walking than did the typically developing children (13.8 +/- 4.9 compared with 10.3 +/- 2.3 kJ/min) while walking at a lower velocity (61 +/- 10 compared with 72 +/- 8 m/min). Correlations between energy expenditure during walking and PAL were not statistically significant for either group.


Children with CP expend more energy during walking and have a lower PAL and lower energy requirements than do typically developing children. This has important implications when estimating the energy requirements of children with CP.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk