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Basal Energy Expenditure

Calculators  Multiple body systems
Basal Energy Expenditure (BEE), also known as basal metabolic rate, is the daily energy expenditure a person uses while at rest. This energy supports basic body functions like respiration and circulation. To reflect activity and exercise level, the Harris-Benedict equation adjusts BEE value by multiplying BEE by the appropriate physical activity levels.
Gender
Female 0
Male 0
Body Weight
kg
Height
cm
Age
years
Physical activity level
Sedentary lifestyle (little or no exercise) 1.2
Less exercise (1-3 days per week) 1.375
Normal exercise (3–5 days per week) 1.55
Massive exercise (6–7 days per week) 1.725
Extremely weighty exercise (twice per day, extra heavy workouts) 1.9
Result:

Background

Measured Factor
Daily energy expenditure
Measured Factor Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Malnutrition
  • Cancer
Measured Factor Detail
The BEE measures daily energy expenditure in the form of calories spent per day. This varies based on gender, age, height, and weight. BEE is adjusted by the Harris-Benedict equation based on physical activity levels. A higher number of calories spent corresponds to a higher metabolism and a higher physcial activity level.
Speciality
Nutritionist
Body System
Multiple body systems
Formula
BEE, kcal/day (men) = 66.47 + 13.75w + 5.00s - 6.76a BEE, kcal/day (women) = 655.1 + 9.56w + 1.85s - 4.68a w = weight in kilograms s = height in centimeters a = age in years Physical activity levels: Sedentary lifestyle (little or no exercise) = BEE × 1.2 Less exercise (1-3 days per week) = BEE × 1.375 Normal exercise (3–5 days per week) = BEE × 1.55 Massive exercise (6–7 days per week) = BEE × 1.725 Extremely weighty exercise (twice per day, extra heavy workouts) = BEE × 1.9
Measured Factor Low Impact
  • Poor metabolism
Measured Factor High Impact
  • Overactive metabolism

Result Interpretation

Ranges Ranges
  • Normal: Results vary according to gender, age, height, weight, and activity levels.
  • Normal Adult Male: Results vary according to gender, age, height, weight, and activity levels.
  • Normal Adult Female: Results vary according to gender, age, height, weight, and activity levels.
  • Normal Pediatric: Results vary according to gender, age, height, weight, and activity levels.
  • Normal Geriatric Male: Results vary according to gender, age, height, weight, and activity levels.
  • Normal Geriatric Female: Results vary according to gender, age, height, weight, and activity levels.
Result Low Conditions
  • Malnutrition
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome
Result High Conditions
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
Test Limitations
The Harris Benedict Equation  (HBE) may overestimate BEE in morbidly obese patients by as much as 15% on average. This may affect how obese patients are evaluated for basal energy expenditure, and evaluation of disease states may also be affected.
References: 4

Studies

Study Validation 1
This study reviewed the use of the Harris-Benedict equations (HBE) in estimating basal energy expenditure (BEE). The study looked at the methods of the original study and analyzed the results that the original study achieved. The researchers found that the study design was accurate, but the results showed an overestimation of HBE by about 5% in women. Normal BEE was considered to be a BEE within 10% of the estimated value, but several healthy men and women in the original study did not meet the criteria. The original study did include subjects who were obese, but the equation still overestimated BEE by about 15%. Athletes were also included in the study to be compared to non-athletes. Overall the study included a variety of subjects, and the researchers found that the HBE is still one of the more accurate predictors of BEE although not perfect.
References: 4
Study Validation 2
This study analyzed the use of Harris-Benedict equation (HBE) in estimating basal energy expenditure (BEE) in patients who had previously undergone a liver transplant. The researchers had found a higher prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome among liver transplant patients. The aim of this study was to monitor energy expenditure compared to caloric intake to prevent weight gain. The HBE was compared to indirect calorimetry (gold standard), and two other alternative equations (electrical bioimpedance - BI and Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation - MSJ) to assess energy use. The comparison was performed using the Wilcoxon Rank Sum test and the Bland-Altman method. The prospective, cross-sectional study included 45 patients that had received a liver transplant. Average difference between BEE measured by IC (1534±300 kcal) and BI (1584±377 kcal) was +50 kcal (p=0.0384). Average difference between the BEE measured using IC (1534±300 kcal) and MSJ (1479.6±375 kcal) was -55 kcal (p=0.16). Average difference between BEE values measured by IC (1534±300 kcal) and HBE (1521±283 kcal) was -13 kcal (p=0.326). The researchers suggested that among the alternative methods of calculating BEE, HBE may be the most accurate formula for predicting BEE in liver transplant (LT) recipients.
References: 5
Study Additional 1
This study assessed the factors that affect BEE in Japanese patients on insulin therapy for Type 2 Diabetes. BEE was measured using indirect calorimetry (IC) under a strict basal condition, and insulin secretion was measured using a glucagon test. The study included 58 Japanese patients with Type 2 Diabetes. BEE and clinical factors were analyzed using Kendall's Rank correlation coefficients. The researchers found that several factors had an effect on BEE, including insulin secretion (P = 0.015), insulin therapy (P = 0.012), and pulse rate (P = 0.011), fat-free mass (P < 0.001), and fat mass (P = 0.006). The researchers found that age, sex, other medications, and parameters of glycemic control did not significantly affect BEE. Researchers concluded that endogenous insulin secretion and exogenous insulin administered in treatment have significant independent effects in the lowering of BEE in patients with diabetes.
References: 6
Study Additional 2
This study analyzed the effects of Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) on Basal Energy Expenditure (BEE) among women. The study included 128 patients with PCOS which were compared to 72 eumenorrheic women. BEE was assessed using the InBody portable bioelectrical impedance analysis device and insulin resistance was assessed using HOMA-IR indices. The PCOS group had a higher body mass index (BMI) and a younger average age. When these two factors were adjusted in measuring BEE, no statistically significant difference was found between the two groups (p=0.193). Some of the women in the PCOS group also had insulin resistance, and when the researchers compared the insulin resistance patients to those in the PCOS group who did not have insulin resistance, there was no significant difference between the two groups. The study determined that PCOS has no significant effect on BEE.
References: 7
Study Additional 3
This cross-sectional study compared the Harris-Benedict Equation (HBE) to the indirect calorimetry (IC) method in determining Basal Energy Expenditure (BEE) among 30 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus. The researchers found the mean of the BEE for IC and Harris-Benedict Equation were 1421.8 ± 348.2 kcal/day and 1310.6 ± 215.1 kcal/day, respectively; therefore, there was a statistically significantly lower BEE in HBE as opposed to IC (p=0.014). Body mass index (BMI) and fat free mass both affected BEE when measured by IC (p=0.001, p=0.019). Age and cancer stage did not significantly affect BEE (p=0.267, p=0.255). Other secondary factors related to the patients' cancer, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), albumin, and transferrin did not significantly effect BEE. The researchers added an injury factor of 1.3 as established by other trials, but when they did this, the HBE score overestimated the BEE by almost 20%. The study suggested more research to determine a better injury factor to increase the accuracy of the HBE calculation.
References: 8

Authors

James Arthur Harris (1880–1930) was a botanist and biometrician. He was the head of the department of botany at the University of Minnesota.
J. Arthur Harris, Botanist and Biometrician. C. O. Rosendahl , R. A. Gortner , G. O. Burr. URL: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus/10.1086/347148.
Francis Gano Benedict (1870–1957), Ph.D, was a chemist, physiologist, and nutritionist.
Maynard LA. Francis Gano Benedict--a biographical sketch (1870-1957). J Nutr. 1969 May;98(1):1-8.

References

  1. Harris JA, Benedict FG. A Biometric Study of Human Basal Metabolism. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1918 Dec;4(12):370-3
  2. Doros R, Delcea A, Mardare L, Petcu L. Basal metabolic rate in metabolic disorders. Proc. Rom. Acad., Series B. 2015;17(2):137-143. URL: http://www.acad.ro/sectii2002/proceeding...
  3. Frankenfield DC, Muth ER, Rowe WA. The Harris-Benedict studies of human basal metabolism: history and limitations. J Am Diet Assoc. 1998 Apr;98(4):439-45
  4. Frankenfield DC, Muth ER, Rowe WA. The Harris-Benedict studies of human basal metabolism: history and limitations. J Am Diet Assoc. 1998 Apr;98(4):439-45.
  5. Pinto AS, Chedid MF, Guerra LT, Álvares-DA-Silva MR, Araújo A, Guimarães LS, et al. Estimating basal energy expenditure in liver transplant recipients: The value of the Harris-Benedict equation.Arq Bras Cir Dig. 2016 Jul-Sep;29(3):185-188.
  6. Ikeda K, Fujimoto S, Goto M, Yamada C, Hamasaki A, Shide K, et al. Impact of endogenous and exogenous insulin on basal energy expenditure in patients with type 2 diabetes under standard treatment. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Dec;94(6):1513-8.
  7. Churchill SJ, Wang ET, Bhasin G, Alexander C, Bresee C, Pall M, et al. Basal metabolic rate in women with PCOS compared to eumenorrheic controls. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2015 Sep;83(3):384-8.
  8. Becker Veronese CB, Guerra LT, Souza Grigolleti S, Vargas J, Pereira da Rosa AR, et al. Basal energy expenditure measured by indirect calorimetry in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus. Nutr Hosp. 2013 Jan-Feb;28(1):142-7.