Estimation of the energy cost of physical activity in infancy

Wells, Jonathan C.K. and Davies, Peter S.W. (1998) Estimation of the energy cost of physical activity in infancy. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 78 2: 131-136. doi:10.1136/adc.78.2.131

Author Wells, Jonathan C.K.
Davies, Peter S.W.
Title Estimation of the energy cost of physical activity in infancy
Journal name Archives of Disease in Childhood   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-9888
Publication date 1998-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1136/adc.78.2.131
Volume 78
Issue 2
Start page 131
End page 136
Total pages 6
Place of publication London, England
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Language eng
Subject 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine
1111 Nutrition and Dietetics
Formatted abstract
Objective -
To estimate physical activity energy expenditure (AEE) in groups of free living infants in the first year of life.

Design -
Mixed longitudinal study of 124 healthy infants, using 232 estimations of AEE made between 1.5 and 12 months. Infants studied at more than one time point were treated as new cross sectional data points. Total energy expenditure and body composition were estimated using doubly labelled water. Sleeping metabolic rate was predicted from weight.

Results -

AEE increased from 5% of energy intake at 1.5 months to 34% at 12 months. Growth costs declined by 90%, but metabolisable intake by only 20%, over the same period.

Conclusions -

Energy is increasingly diverted from growth to activity during infancy. Values for AEE may aid in estimating energy requirements of groups factorially. Further work is required, however, on individual variability in AEE, and on the effects of disease, hospitalisation, surgery, and malnutrition.
Keyword Energy Requirements
Energy Expenditure
Formula-fed Infants
12-week-old Infants
(H2O)-H-2-O-18 Method
Indirect Calorimetry
Preterm Infants
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Mathematics and Physics
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Created: Wed, 08 Sep 2010, 09:38:04 EST