Measured resting energy expenditure (REE) and REEs calculated using the Harris-Benedict equation, Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization/United Nations University (FAO/WHO/UNU) equations (FAO equations), and the Liu equation were compared in Asian women.
REEs were measured using indirect calorimetry in the morning after an overnight fast and compared with REEs calculated using the Harris-Benedict equation, the FAO equations, and the Liu equation. Height, weight, and 3-day diet records were also obtained.
Thirty-six healthy, free-living Asian women aged 19 to 52 years and living in the United States were recruited from Washington State University, Pullman, and completed the study.
Paired t tests, stepwise regression, one-way analysis of variance, and Pearson correlation coefficients were used for the statistical analyses. Significance was set at P < or = .05.
A significant correlation was found between measured REE and REE derived from the Harris-Benedict equation (R = 0.67, P < .0001), the FAO equations (R = 0.70, P < .0001), and the Liu equation (R = 0.70, P < .0001). However, measured REE was significantly lower than REE calculated using the Harris-Benedict and FAO equations by 8.5% (P < .001) and 5.4% (P < .01), respectively. No significant difference was noted between measured REE and REE derived from the Liu equation.
Caution must be taken when predicting REE of Asian women using the Harris-Benedict equation or the FAO equation. Indirect calorimetry or an equation specific to Asians, such as the Liu equation, is recommended when an accurate estimate is necessary.