Energy and protein requirements

This report contains the collective views of an international group of experts and does not necessarily represent the decisions or the stated policy of the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, or the United Nations University

Report of a Joint FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation

World Health Organization Technical Report Series 724

Reprinted 1987, 1991

ISBN 92 4 120724 8

© World Health Organization, Geneva 1985

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ISSN 0512-3054


87/7325 - Schüler SA - 2000 (R)
91/8836 - Schüler SA - 2000 (R)

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1. Introduction

2. Energy and protein requirements—some unifying concepts
2.1 Definitions
2.2 Individuals and groups

3. Considerations common to the estimation of energy and protein requirements
3.1 Adaptation
3.2 Body size: reference standards for children, adolescents, and adults
3.3 Body composition
3.4 Physical fitness and functional capacity
3.5 Expression of requirements in relation to body weight and age
3.6 Interpretation of tables of requirements

4. Principles for the estimation of energy requirements
4.1 General considerations
4.2 Components of energy requirement
4.3 Changes in energy requirements with age
4.4 Sex differences in energy requirements
4.5 Variability in energy expenditure
4.6 Measurement of energy expenditure
4.7 Adaptation in energy requirements

5. Principles of estimating protein requirements
5.1 The metabolic background
5.2 Adaptation to low protein intakes
5.3 Relationship between energy and protein requirements
5.4 Requirements for total nitrogen
5.5 Principles of nitrogen balance
5.6 Requirements for essential amino acids
5.7 General comments on methods of assessing protein requirements

6. Estimates of energy and protein requirements of adults and children
6.1 Adults
6.2 Pregnancy and lactation
6.3 Infants, children, and adolescents

7. Factors affecting energy and protein requirements
7.1 Available energy
7.2 Energy density
7.3 Quality and digestibility of dietary proteins
7.4 Environmental effects on energy and protein requirements

8. Summary of requirements for energy and protein
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Adults
8.3 Adolescents
8.4 Infants and children
8.5 Pregnancy and lactation
8.6 Corrections for the quality of the diet

9. Energy and protein requirements for catch-up growth and the influence of infections on requirements
9.1 Catch-up growth
9.2 Effects of infection on energy and protein requirements
9.3 Conclusion

10. The protein-energy ratio as a measure of dietary quality
10.1 Introduction
10.2 Derivation of reference PE ratios
10.3 Factors that affect the PE ratio

11. Some principles and issues in the application of requirement estimates
11.1 Introduction
11.2 Aggregation of requirement estimates
11.3 Matching the time-frame of intake and requirement
11.4 Adjustments for digestibility and amino acid score
11.5 Modelling of distributions

12. Future research

13. Conclusions

Annex 1. Equations for the prediction of basal metabolic rate

Annex 2. Anthropometric data of children and adolescents

Annex 3. Gross energy cost of walking on the level

Annex 4. Estimates of energy cost of weight gain

Annex 5. Gross energy expenditure in specified activities

Annex 6. Miscellaneous nitrogen (N) losses

Annex 7. Calculation of BMR and total energy expenditure

Annex 8. Additional requirements for catch-up growth

Annex 9. Statistical principles for estimating protein and energy requirements

Annex 10. List of participants


Report of a Joint FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation