Components of energy requirements:
- Basal metabolism: This comprises a series of functions that are essential for life, such as cell function and replacement; the synthesis, secretion and metabolism of enzymes and hormones to transport proteins and other substances and molecules; the maintenance of body temperature; uninterrupted work of cardiac and respiratory muscles; and brain function. The amount of energy used for basal metabolism in a period of time is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR). Depending on age and lifestyle, BMR represents 45 to 70 percent of daily total energy expenditure, and it is determined mainly by the individual’s age, gender, body size and body composition.
- Metabolic response to food: Eating requires energy for the ingestion and digestion of food, and for the absorption, transport, interconversion, oxidation and deposition of nutrients. These metabolic processes increase heat production and oxygen consumption, and are known by terms such as dietary-induced thermogenesis, specific dynamic action of food and thermic effect of feeding. The metabolic response to food increases total energy expenditure by about 10 percent of the BMR over a 24-hour period in individuals eating a mixed diet.
- Physical activity: This is the most variable and, after BMR, the second largest component of daily energy expenditure. Humans perform obligatory and discretionary physical activities. Obligatory activities can seldom be avoided within a given setting, and they are imposed on the individual by economic, cultural or societal demands. In addition to occupational work, obligatory activities include daily activities such as going to school, tending to the home and family and other demands made on children and adults by their economic, social and cultural environment. Discretionary activities, although not socially or economically essential, are important for health, well-being and a good quality of life in general. They include the regular practice of physical activity for fitness and health; the performance of optional household tasks that may contribute to family comfort and well-being; and the engagement in individually and socially desirable activities for personal enjoyment, social interaction and community development.
- Growth: The energy cost of growth has two components: 1) the energy needed to synthesize growing tissues; and 2) the energy deposited in those tissues. The energy cost of growth is about 35 percent of total energy requirement during the first three months of age, falls rapidly to about 5 percent at 12 months and about 3 percent in the second year, remains at 1 to 2 percent until mid-adolescence, and is negligible in the late teens.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, extra energy is needed for the growth of the foetus, placenta and various maternal tissues, such as in the uterus, breasts and fat stores, as well as for changes in maternal metabolism and the increase in maternal effort at rest and during physical activity.
- Lactation: The energy cost of lactation has two components: 1) the energy content of the milk secreted; and 2) the energy required to produce that milk. Well-nourished lactating women can derive part of this additional requirement from body fat stores accumulated during pregnancy.
|Intro to nutrition|
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