The energy requirements of infants and children are defined as the amount of food energy needed to balance total energy expenditure (TEE) at a desirable level of physical activity, and to support optimal growth and development. New TEE data from doubly labeled water and heart rate monitoring are available to derive the energy requirements. Compared with the 1985 FAO/WHO/UNU recommendations, the 2004 FAO/WHO/UNU and 2002 IOM recommendations are ~12-20% lower during infancy. The 2004 FAO/WHO/UNU recommendations are on average 18% lower for boys and 20% lower for girls <7 years of age, and 12% lower for boys and 5% lower for girls 7-11 years of age. From 12 to 18 years of age, the requirements are 12% higher for boys and girls. The 2002 IOM recommendations are 8% lower for children <7 years of age, 2% lower for children 7-11 years of age, and 8% higher for children 12-18 years of age. Although the basic principles underlying energy requirements have not changed, the recommendations for energy intake have been decreased in infancy and early childhood, and increased in adolescence based on newly available TEE data.

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