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close this bookEnergy and Protein requirements, Proceedings of an IDECG workshop, November 1994, London, UK, Supplement of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (International Dietary Energy Consultative Group - IDECG, 1994, 198 pages)
close this folderReport of the working group on protein and amino acid requirements
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentInfants
View the documentInfection and catch-up growth
View the documentChildren and adolescents
View the documentAdults
View the documentElderly
View the documentResearch needs: Infants and children
View the documentResearch needs: adults

Children and adolescents

1. The factorial model used to calculate protein requirements for children and adolescents should not use estimates of maintenance requirements that are interpolated from the previous 'anchor point' of 120 mg N/kg/day for infants, which is now believed to be too high. The value of l00 mg N/kg/day (at all ages) seems more appropriate based on data from balance studies of children and adolescents cited in the paper of Dewey et al. Nevertheless, this is tentative until the results of a meta-analysis of adult data are available.

2. The 50% augmentation to the protein needs for growth, adopted in the 1985 report to account for day-to-day intra-individual variability in growth, should be abandoned. To allow for this variation, an adjustment could be added to the coefficient of variability for growth.

3. The factorial model incorporating revisions proposed in the paper of Dewey et al should be considered a good approximation of the requirements for preschool children, as it yields estimates that are consistent with short-term balance studies. Limited data on older children and adolescents suggest that the 1985 values are appropriate for that age range. More information is needed to determine whether aspects of the new factorial model for older children and adolescents should be modified.

4. The recommendations of the 1991 FAO/WHO Expert Consultation regarding amino acid requirements of preschool children should be adopted until additional data are available, but further attention needs to be paid to the distinction between requirement and safe levels.

5. Data on the amino acid pattern required by preschool children have never been published in full and are limited to a series of studies in a single country. This is an extremely unsatisfactory basis for determining a dietary recommendation. The group could make no further comment on the pattern for preschool children presented in the 1985 report and strongly recommends support for studies using both nitrogen balance and stable isotope techniques, preferably concurrently, to address this lack of information.