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Validity of predictive equations for basal metabolic rate in Japanese adults.

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Department of Health Promotion and Exercise, National Institute of Health and Nutrition, Tokyo, Japan.


Many predictive equations for basal metabolic rate (BMR) based on anthropometric measurements, age, and sex have been developed, mainly for healthy Caucasians. However, it has been reported that many of these equations, used widely, overestimate BMR not only for Asians, but also for Caucasians. The present study examined the accuracy of several predictive equations for BMR in Japanese subjects. In 365 healthy Japanese male and female subjects, aged 18 to 79 y, BMR was measured in the post-absorptive state using a mask and Douglas bag. Six predictive equations were examined. Total error was used as an index of the accuracy of each equation's prediction. Predicted BMR values by Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese (Japan-DRI), Adjusted Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese (Adjusted-DRI), and Ganpule equations were not significantly different from the measured BMR in either sex. On the other hand, Harris-Benedict, Schofield, and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/World Health Organization/United Nations University equations were significantly higher than the measured BMR in both sexes. The prediction error by Japan-DRI, Adjusted-DRI, and Harris-Benedict equations was significantly correlated with body weight in both sexes. Total error using the Ganpule equation was low in both males and females (125 and 99 kcal/d, respectively). In addition, total error using the Adjusted-DRI equation was low in females (95 kcal/d). Thus, the Ganpule equation was the most accurate in predicting BMR in our healthy Japanese subjects, because the difference between the predicted and measured BMR was relatively small, and body weight had no effect on the prediction error.

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