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close this bookActivity, Energy Expenditure and Energy Requirements of Infants and Children (International Dietary Energy Consultative Group - IDECG, 1989, 412 pages)
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsEnergy requirements in normal infants and children
Open this folder and view contentsLow energy intakes and growth velocities of breast-fed infants: Are there functional consequences?
Open this folder and view contentsMethods to assess physical activity and the energy expended for it by infants and children
Open this folder and view contentsEstimation and validation of energy expenditure obtained by the minute-by-minute measurement of heart-rate
Open this folder and view contentsAssessment and significance of body composition in infants and children
Open this folder and view contentsTotal energy expenditure of free-living infants and children obtained by the doubly-labelled water method
Open this folder and view contentsReference data for total energy expenditure in early infancy
Open this folder and view contentsBasal metabolism of infants
Open this folder and view contentsEnergy cost of various physical activities in healthy children
Open this folder and view contentsThe energy requirements of growth and catch-up growth
Open this folder and view contentsEnergy cost of communicable diseases in infancy and childhood
Open this folder and view contentsEnergy-sparing mechanisms: reductions in body mass, BMR and activity: their relative importance and priority in undernourished infants and children
Open this folder and view contentsThe desirable upper limits of energy intake in childhood: Short- and long-term consequences
Open this folder and view contentsLong-term developmental implications of motor maturation and physical activity in infancy in a nutritionally at risk population
Open this folder and view contentsTemperament, activity and behavioral development of infants and children
Open this folder and view contentsThe cultural regulation of infant and child activities
Open this folder and view contentsShort- and long-term effects of low or restricted energy intakes on the activity of infants and children
Open this folder and view contentsThe relationship between undernutrition, activity levels and development in young children
View the documentIndicators for the extent to which energy requirements are being met in infants and children
View the documentImplications of new knowledge for recommendations of energy intakes
View the documentImplications of new knowledge for the prevention and treatment of PEM in infants and children
View the documentImplications of new knowledge for the prevention and treatment of obesity in infants and children
View the documentNeeds and priorities for research and action from the physiological point of view
View the documentNeeds and priorities for research and action from the behavioral point of view
View the documentNeeds and priorities for research and action from the point of view of policy
View the documentList of participants

Introduction

The first workshop of the International Dietary Energy Consultancy Group (IDECG) focused on the consequences of chronic energy deficiency for adult individuals and societies. It also recommended that IDECG give priority to the examination of all aspects of the relation between energy intake and physical activity in children. The second IDECG workshop was convened for this purpose.

The Committee responsible for the 1985 FAO/WHO/UNU report on energy and protein requirements defined energy requirements for adults as "the amount needed to maintain health, growth, and an appropriate level of physical activity". The 'appropriate' level of physical activity depends on a person's occupational and other activities which are part of his or her lifestyle and may be quite difficult to define. Nevertheless, the Committee maintained that a definition of energy requirements makes sense only if one specifies "what for?", i.e., an appropriate or desirable level of physical activity and energy expenditure for the particular population group under consideration.

When considering the energy requirements of infants, children and adolescents, the 1985 Committee stated: "Although, in principle, it would be desirable to determine the requirements of children in the same way as for adults, from measurements of energy expenditure, this approach involves many difficulties in practice". It concluded that the necessary information was not available to base recommendations for the energy requirements of infants and children on estimates of energy expenditure. Instead it continued to do so on the basis of information on energy intakes of infants and children growing normally.

With the development of the doubly-labelled water method and renewed interest in energy metabolism, a considerable amount of new information on children's activities and energy expenditure has become available since then. The Steering Committee of IDECG therefore thought that it would also be useful and timely to reexamine the energy requirements of infants and children from the perspective of socio-cultural influences on their energy expenditure. This led to a consideration of possible effects in the other direction, the impact of involuntary restriction of dietary intake on activity and other aspects of behavior.

IDECG is administered by the United Nations University (UNU) on behalf of the UN ACC-Subcommittee on Nutrition, and its secretariat is provided by the Nestle Foundation. Funding for the workshop was provided by UNU and for this publication by the Nestle Foundation.

We should like to thank Miss Edwina Murray and Mrs. Sandra Lee for assisting us in the organization of this workshop, Mrs. Rebecca Chamberlain for administration of finances, Mrs. Ann-Marie Favre for proof-reading and helping us prepare this publication, Mrs. Nelleke Luong-van-My and Miss Diana Schellitzer for technical assistance.

Beat Schürch
Nevin S. Scrimshaw