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IV. Life Stages

Basal Energy Expenditure     Changes with age Changes with age: Infancy Changes with age: Years of growth Changes with age: Adolescence Changes with age: Pregnancy and Lactation Changes with age: Old Age     Previous Page Next Page

Basal Energy Expenditure

Basal Energy Expenditure (BEE, also called basal metabolic rate, or BMR):
This is the energy needed to carry out fundamental metabolic functions, such as breathing, ion transport, normal turnover of enzymes and other body components, etc.

It is measured with the subject in the fasted state, lying quietly in a room of comfortable temperature.

BEE may be expressed in terms of surface area: kJ m-2 hr-1. This allows a fair comparison among infants, adults, the lean, the obese, etc.

BEE varies between the sexes. Lean body mass is a major determinant, and women tend to have more body fat (less lean muscle mass). As a result, their BEE is lower than that of otherwise comparable males.

The basal energy expenditure varies with age.

There can be major nutritional consequences to the decline of the REE in advanced age.

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