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Predicting basal metabolic rate in the obese is difficult


Objective: To reassess the validity of the Schofield equations for predicting basal metabolic rate (BMR) in the obese.

Data: The data collection compiled from many studies by Schofield in 1985.

Methods: Nonparametric curve fitting and comparison of groups.

Results: BMR increases more slowly at heavier weights in men (above about 75 kg) and women (above about 65 kg), and to ignore this is to predict overestimates of BMR. Data obtained from studies of different populations show substantial differences, which are influential when data are combined.

Conclusions: The Schofield equations are unsuitable for obese populations. Given that current Western populations exhibit prevalences of obesity many times greater than those in the Schofield database, this indicates the need for further study of suitable predictors for these individuals.

Sponsorship: Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, UK.

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Correspondence to G W Horgan.

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Horgan, G., Stubbs, J. Predicting basal metabolic rate in the obese is difficult. Eur J Clin Nutr 57, 335–340 (2003).

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  • obesity
  • basal metabolic rate
  • Schofield equations

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