New Singapore equation ‘most accurate’ BMR tool for Chinese adults: Study

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

There was a lack of data on BMR measured in overweight and obese adults living in Asia. ©iStock
There was a lack of data on BMR measured in overweight and obese adults living in Asia. ©iStock

Related tags Obesity

A recently developed “Singapore equation” is the most accurate basal metabolic rate (BMR) equation to predict energy requirements for Chinese adults, a new study has found.

In a paper published in Nutrition Journal​, researchers note that BMR prediction equations have been developed in multiple populations because indirect calorimetry is not always feasible.

Globally there are a number of equations in use, such as the EU-recommended Henry equations, and the equations of Liu et al and Yang et al – the latter two have been developed in predominantly healthy Asian subjects.

Meanwhile equations by Mifflin et al, and Owen et al, have reported improved predictive equations for overweight and obese Caucasian subjects.

However, there is a paucity of data on BMR measured in overweight and obese adults living in Asia.

“The aim of this study was to develop a new BMR prediction equation for Chinese adults applicable for a large BMI range and compare it with commonly used prediction equations,”​ they state.

Researchers say the Singapore equation is simple to use because it is solely based on body weight and gender.

For the study, 121 men and 111 women aged between 21 and 67 years with a BMI of 16–41 kg/m2​, had their height, weight, and BMR measured.

“Continuous open-circuit indirect calorimetry using a ventilated hood system for 30 min was used to measure BMR,”​ the study states.

“A regression equation was derived using stepwise regression and accuracy was compared to six existing equations (Harris-Benedict, Henry, Liu, Yang, Owen and Mifflin). Additionally, the newly derived [Singapore] equation was cross-validated in a separate group of 70 Chinese subjects (26 men and 44 women, age: 21–69 years, BMI: 17–39 kg/m2​).”

Anthropometric measurement

Subjects were required to undergo a 12 hour overnight fast and refrain from intensive physical activity for 24 hours prior to the measurement.

On the test day, their BMR was measured via indirect calorimetry and subsequent anthropometric measurements were performed.

The accuracy rate (within 10 % accurate) for the Singapore equation was 78 % which compared well to Owen (70 %), Henry (67 %), Mifflin (67 %), Liu (58 %), Harris-Benedict (45 %) and Yang (37 %) for the whole range of BMI, the study states.

For a BMI greater than 23, the Singapore equation reached an accuracy rate of 76%. Cross-validation proved an accuracy rate of 80 %, leading researchers to hail it as “the most accurate BMR prediction equation in Chinese and is applicable for use in a large BMI range including those overweight and obese.”

“The strength of the newly developed Singapore equation lies in the direct practical and clinical use in a large BMI range including overweight and Chinese adults,” states the paper.

“Their utility will be further enhanced if the equations are shown to be valid in Chinese living in other regions of Asia,” ​they added.

Source: Nutrition Journal

DOI: 10.1186/s12937-016-0197-2

“Estimation of basal metabolic rate in Chinese: are the current prediction equations applicable?”

Authors: C. Jeyakumar Henry, et al.

Related topics Policy All Asia-Pacific

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