Resting Energy Expenditure of Children and Adolescents With Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

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Background:The mainstay of treatment for pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is lifestyle modification, which includes dietary changes that lead to slow but sustained weight loss or weight stabilization in growing children. Accurate estimation of energy requirements is necessary to achieve this goal. The objective of this study was to assess the accuracy of the most commonly used equations in predicting the resting energy expenditure (REE) of children with NAFLD. Methods: This was a retrospective study performed in a single institution. The predictive accuracy of various equations was assessed by comparing their estimates against the measured REE obtained with indirect calorimetry. Accuracy was defined as an estimate within 10% of measured REE. Results: Fifty-six children (70% male; 52% white and 36% Asian) with a median age of 13 years were included. The median measured REE was 1829 kcal/d. Of the equations studied, the Schofield had the smallest average bias (–32 kcal/d; confidence interval, –121 to 56). The Schofield and Molnar equations were the most accurate, providing REE estimates within 10% of measured in 59% of cases. The remaining equations had lower and variable predictive accuracy. The use of adjusted body weight in predictive equations did not improve the predictive accuracy. Conclusion: In a cohort of children and adolescents with NAFLD, the Schofield and Molnar equations performed best in predicting energy expenditure. However, predictive equations were often inaccurate, suggesting that clinicians should interpret their results with caution and consider using indirect calorimetry when available.

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