|Energy 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)|
|Energy requirements of infants|
'The energy requirement of an individual is the level of energy intake from food that will balance energy expenditure when the individual has body size and body composition, and level of physical activity, consistent with long-term good health; and that will allow for the maintenance of economically necessary and socially desirable physical activity. In children the energy requirement includes the energy associated with the deposition of tissues at rates consistent with good health.' (FAO/WHO/UNU, 1985). This basic tenet set forth by the 1985 FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation should be upheld.
Because it was not possible to specify with any confidence the allowance for a desirable level of physical activity, the 1985 FAO/WHO/UNU energy requirements from birth to 10 years were derived from the observed intakes of healthy infants and children growing normally. For infants energy requirements were based on energy intakes compiled by Whitehead et al (1981). Estimated energy requirements were set 5% higher than observed energy intakes to compensate for underestimation of intake (Table 1). Implicit in this approach is the assumption that ad libitum intakes reflect desirable intakes for infants. Although infant intake is largely self-regulated, it can be influenced by external factors.
Correspondence: NF Butte.