Background: Measurement of basal metabolic rate (BMR) is suggested as a tool to estimate energy requirements. Therefore, BMR prediction equations have been developed in multiple populations because indirect calorimetry is not always feasible. However, there is a paucity of data on BMR measured in overweight and obese adults living in Asia and equations developed for this group of interest. The aim of this study was to develop a new BMR prediction equation for Chinese adults applicable for a large BMI range and compare it with commonly used prediction equations.
Methods: Subjects were 121 men and 111 women (age: 21-67 years, BMI: 16-41 kg/m(2)). Height, weight, and BMR were measured. Continuous open-circuit indirect calorimetry using a ventilated hood system for 30 min was used to measure BMR. A regression equation was derived using stepwise regression and accuracy was compared to 6 existing equations (Harris-Benedict, Henry, Liu, Yang, Owen and Mifflin). Additionally, the newly derived equation was cross-validated in a separate group of 70 Chinese subjects (26 men and 44 women, age: 21-69 years, BMI: 17-39 kg/m(2)).
Results: The equation developed from our data was: BMR (kJ/d) = 52.6 x weight (kg) + 828 x gender + 1960 (women = 0, men = 1; R(2) = 0.81). The accuracy rate (within 10 % accurate) was 78 % which compared well to Owen (70 %), Henry (67 %), Mifflin (67 %), Liu (58 %), Harris-Benedict (45 %) and Yang (37 %) for the whole range of BMI. For a BMI greater than 23, the Singapore equation reached an accuracy rate of 76 %. Cross-validation proved an accuracy rate of 80 %.
Conclusions: To date, the newly developed Singapore equation is the most accurate BMR prediction equation in Chinese and is applicable for use in a large BMI range including those overweight and obese.