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Acta Diabetol. 1994 Apr;31(1):47-51.

Resting energy expenditure and body composition in morbidly obese, obese and control subjects.

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Cattedra di Clinica Medica B, University of Palermo, Policlinico P. Giaccone, Italy.


Resting energy expenditure (REE) was investigated by indirect calorimetry in relation to body composition and to different degrees of obesity in order to assess if a defective energy expenditure contributes to extra body fat accumulation. Differences were found between control subjects (group C; BMI 23 +/- 0.5 kg/m2, REE 5890 +/- 218 kJ/day; mean +/- SEM) and obese subjects (group O; BMI 34.2 +/- 0.9 kg/m2, REE 7447 +/- 360 kJ/day; P < 0.0001) and between group C and morbidly obese subjects (group MO; BMI 49.9 +/- 1.6 kg/m2, REE 8330 +/- 360 kJ/day; P < 0.0001); REE was not significantly different between groups O and MO. Body composition data were obtained by means of body impedance analysis. Even though group MO had a fat mass higher than group O, body cell mass, the metabolically active body compartment, was similar in groups O and MO, and this fact may have contributed to the similar REE in the two groups. Multiple regression analysis gave the following equation as the best predictor of REE: REE (kJ/day) = 1591 +/- 49BW + 74BCM - 737G (R2 = 0.88), where BW is body weight, BCM is body cell mass and G is a dummy variable coding group membership (group C = 1; group O = 2; group MO = 3). Thus the analysis showed a negative impact of obesity on REE beyond body composition variables.

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