Total Energy Expenditure in Healthy Ambulatory Older Adults Aged ≥80 Years: A Doubly Labelled Water Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: The life expectancy of older adults continues to increase; however, knowledge regarding their total energy requirements is lacking. This study aimed to compare the total energy expenditure (TEE) of older adults ≥80 years measured using doubly labelled water (DLW), with estimated TEE. The hypothesis was that the Mifflin, Ikeda, and Livingston equations will more closely estimate energy requirements than the commonly used Schofield equation. Methods: Resting metabolic rate (RMR) and TEE were measured using the reference methods of indirect calorimetry and DLW, respectively. Bland-Altman plots compared measured RMR and TEE with predicted RMR using equations (Mifflin, Ikeda, Livingston, Schofield) and predicted TEE (predicted RMR × physical activity level). Results: Twenty-one older adults (age range 80.7-90.1 years, BMI 26.1 ± 5.5 kg/m2) were included. The Schofield equation demonstrated the greatest bias from measured RMR, overestimating approximately up to double the mean difference (865 ± 662 kJ/day) compared with the three other equations. The Schofield equation exhibited the greatest bias (overestimation of 641 ± 1,066 kJ/day) compared with measured TEE. The other three equations underestimated TEE, with the least bias from Ikeda (37 ± 1,103 kJ/day), followed by Livingston (251 ± 1,108 kJ/day), and Mifflin (354 ± 1,140 kJ/day). Data are mean ± SD. Conclusions: In older adults ≥80 years, the Ikeda, Mifflin, and Livingston equations provide closer estimates of TEE than the widely used Schofield equation. The development of nutrition guidelines therefore should consider the utilization of equations which more accurately reflect age-specific requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023


  • Doubly labelled water
  • Nutrition
  • Older adults
  • Resting metabolic rate
  • Total energy expenditure

Cite this