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Eur J Med Res. 2012 Sep 1;17:26. doi: 10.1186/2047-783X-17-26.

Comparison of five equations for estimating resting energy expenditure in Chinese young, normal weight healthy adults.

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Department of Clinical Nutrition, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.



Most resting energy expenditure (REE) predictive equations for adults were derived from research conducted in western populations; whether they can also be used in Chinese young people is still unclear. Therefore, we conducted this study to determine the best REE predictive equation in Chinese normal weight young adults.


Forty-three (21 male, 22 female) healthy college students between the age of 18 and 25 years were recruited. REE was measured by the indirect calorimetry (IC) method. Harris-Benedict, World Health Organization (WHO), Owen, Mifflin and Liu's equations were used to predictREE (REEe). REEe that was within 10% of measured REE (REEm) was defined as accurate. Student's t test, Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test, McNemar Test and the Bland-Altman method were used for data analysis.


REEm was significantly lower (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01) than REEe from equations, except for Liu's, Liu's-s, Owen, Owen-s and Mifflin in men and Liu's and Owen in women. REEe calculated by ideal body weight was significantly higher than REEe calculated by current body weight ( P < 0.01), the only exception being Harris-Benedict equation in men. Bland-Altman analysis showed that the Owen equation with current body weight generated the least bias. The biases of REEe from Owen with ideal body weight and Mifflin with both current and ideal weights were also lower.


Liu's, Owen, and Mifflin equations are appropriate for the prediction of REE in young Chinese adults. However, the use of ideal body weight did not increase the accuracy of REEe.

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