Describes the importance of estimating energy requirements and the relationship between energy expenditure and requirements. To estimate habitual expenditure, and hence requirements, it is necessary to make measurements over long enough periods to take account of daily variation in expenditure (e.g weekday versus weekend) and the methodology adopted should not require that the subjects leave their normal environment or alter their typical activity pattern. Discusses traditional methods of measuring energy expenditure together with their limitations. Outlines the advantages of the doubly labelled water method for estimating habitual energy expenditure and describes the theoretical basis of the method. However, to estimate requirements as described by recent Department of Health and FAO/WHO/UNU reports requires the application of both the doubly labelled water method and traditional methodologies. Also discusses the usefulness of simultaneous heart rate monitoring.
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