Energy and Physical Activity

The DRIs include estimated energy expenditure at four levels of physical activity. Previous energy allowances were based on estimated time spent in various activities in addition to measured or predicted basal metabolic rates [3]. Rather than provide an RDA (a level of energy intake that would be adequate for almost all the population), an estimated energy requirement (EER) is predicted from regression equations derived from doubly labeled water data based on gender, age, weight, height, and four levels of physical activity (sedentary, low active, active, very active) [11].

The DRI process also recommended levels of activity to both decrease the risk of chronic disease and maintain body weight below a body mass index of 25 [11]. The level of total activity recommended is >1.6 physical activity level (PAL, the ratio of total energy expenditure to basal energy expenditure), and is the equivalent of 60 min of moderate intensity activity on a daily basis above sedentary levels (moderate activity equivalent to walking at 4.8-6.4 km/h).

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