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A Resting Metabolic Rate Equation Including Bioelectrical Impedance– Derived Lean Body Mass Provides a Better Prediction in Premenopausal African American Women Across a Spectrum of Body Mass Indices

Valliant, Melinda W. PhD, RD; Tidwell, Diane K. PhD, RD; Hallam, Jeffrey S. PhD; Wadsworth, Danielle D. PhD; Owens, Scott PhD; Chitwood, Linda F. PhD

doi: 10.1097/TIN.0b013e3181a6b98d

The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to develop, validate, and cross-validate an equation for predicting resting metabolic rate (RMR) in African American females. Data were collected from August 2004 to January 2005. Participants in the study included 100 African American women, 18 to 40 years old, with various body mass indices. Fifty participants were randomly selected to develop the equation and the remaining 50 were employed to test the equations. Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), confirmed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, was used to determine fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM) and RMR was measured by indirect calorimetry (ie, measured RMR [mRMR]) with a canopy system. A forward, stepwise, multiple regression analysis was performed with mRMR as the dependent variable and age, height, weight, FM, and FFM served as independent variables. The new Wells-Valliant equation was the only equation in this investigation that did not differ significantly from mRMR. When estimating RMR, it is imperative to select an equation that provides the best estimate of RMR for the population considered. The Wells-Valliant equation developed in this study includes FM and FFM, is more accurate than previous equations in estimating RMR in African American women, and can be calculated with more readily available BIA equipment.

Departments of Family and Consumer Science (Dr Valliant) and Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management (Drs Hallam, Chitwood, and Owens), The University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State (Dr Tidwell); Department of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama (Dr Wadsworth).

Corresponding Author: Melinda W. Valliant, PhD, RD, Department of Family and Consumer Science, The University of Mississippi, PO Box 1848, University, MS 38677 (

This work was funded in part by the School of Applied Sciences, The University of Mississippi.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.