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Energy requirements in Chilean infants
  1. G Salazara,
  2. F Vioa,
  3. C Garcíaa,
  4. E Aguirreb,
  5. W A Cowardc
  1. aInstitute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Santiago, Chile, bChilean Commission for Nuclear Energy, Amunategui 95, Santiago, Chile, cMRC Human Nutrition Research, Cambridge, UK
  1. Professor Salazar, Instituto de Nutricion, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 138-11, Santiago, Chile email: gsalazar{at}


AIM To evaluate the energy requirements of breast fed infants.

METHODS The study was conducted in 17 healthy exclusively breast fed infants of normal birth weight (mean (SD) 3332 (280) g). Energy expenditure by the doubly labelled water method and milk intake by the dose to infant method were measured at 34 (4) days. A dose of 0.2 g/kg deuterium oxide (99.8%) and 2.0 g/kg 10% 18O labelled water was given to the infants, and urine samples were collected for seven consecutive days after dosing.

RESULTS The mean (SD) weight of the infants during the period of evaluation was 4617 (343) g and weight gain 34.0 (7.5) g/day. Daily milk intake was 728 (101) g and its metabolisable energy content 2.71 kJ/g. The energy expenditure of the infants was 1205 (312) kJ/day and energy required for growth was 607 (130) kJ/day. When combined this produced an energy requirement of 391 kJ/kg/day for these infants.

CONCLUSION These data agree with those from other studies in the United Kingdom and the United States and suggest that adequate growth can be achieved with 19.4% less energy than recommended by FAO/WHO/UNU.

  • lactation
  • isotope dilution
  • breast milk intake
  • energy expenditure

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