|Activity, Energy Expenditure and Energy Requirements of Infants and Children (International Dietary Energy Consultative Group - IDECG, 1989, 412 pages)|
|The relationship between undernutrition, activity levels and development in young children|
|4. Mild-to-moderate undernutrition|
In Guatemala, the effect of reducing energy intakes on activity, was observed in two studies in a clinical setting. Small groups of children who had recently recovered from severe undernutrition, were studied. Reduced energy expenditure was found in one study (TORUN and VITERI, 1981) and reduced activity levels in the other VITERI and TORUN, 1981). However, this short-term change in both intakes and activity may not represent the habitual situation in free-living children.
In a few studies, activity levels have been observed in free-living children using time-motion methods. In Uganda (RUTISHAUSER and WHITEHEAD, 1972), local children aged 18 months to 3 years, who were on low dietary intakes, were found to be less active than adequately nourished expatriate children. However, the control group was small, and there were cultural and class differences which may account for the activity difference. In Guatemala (TORUN, 1984), 3-year-old children with low weights-for-height were found to be less active than those with higher weights-for-height. However, no details of this study were reported.
In The Gambia, the doubly-labelled water technique was used to determine the energy expenditure of free-living children aged 2 to 24 months (VASQUEZ-VELASQUEZ, 1988). They were found to expend less energy than the FAO/WHO/UNU recommended dietary intake (WHO, 1985). However, it has been suggested that the values recommended by FAO may be too high (PRENTICE et al., 1988).
SPURR and REINA (1988) studied 242 six- to 16-year-old Colombian children. Approximately half the children were undernourished. They measured daily energy expenditure with heart rate monitors as well as basal and resting metabolic rates. They found no evidence of undernourished children expending less energy in activity. In none of the above studies were measures of the children's development or behavior reported.