2008 Volume 5 Issue 1 Pages 17-21
BACKGROUND: Large errors may occur when predicting basal metabolic rate (BMR) based on physical characteristics in obese people. In addition, the contribution of abdominal visceral fat to BMR remains controversial. This study examined the accuracy of several predictive equations for BMR and the contribution of abdominal fat distribution to BMR in obese Japanese participants in the Saku Control Obesity Program (SCOP).
METHODS: BMR was determined using a mask and Douglas bag in adult males (n = 12) and females (n = 11). We measured abdominal subcutaneous and visceral fat areas using computerized tomography.
RESULTS: All the equations, with the exception of Bernstein’s, overestimated BMR in obese males. Some equations, including the Japan-Dietary Reference Intakes and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/World Health Organization/United Nations University (FAO/WHO/UNU) equations, overestimated BMR in obese females, while the Harris-Benedict and Henry equations provided relatively accurate predictions of BMR in obese females. We found no correlation between abdominal visceral fat area and BMR when adjusted for sex, fat-free mass, and abdominal subcutaneous fat area (partial r =−0.022). Abdominal subcutaneous fat area correlated significantly with BMR when adjusted for sex, fat-free mass, and abdominal visceral fat area (partial r = 0.732), although this correlation was no longer significant after adjustment for total fat mass (partial r = 0.266).
CONCLUSIONS: In obese Japanese subjects, most the predictive equations overestimated BMR in males, whereas some equations were relatively accurate for females. Our findings indicate abdominal fat distribution may not be independently related with BMR.