A narrative review on the application of doubly labeled water method for estimating energy requirement for Koreans

Oh Yoen Kim, Jonghoon Park, Eun Kyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Research articles were reviewed to validate the estimated energy requirements (EERs) equations developed by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM). These equations are based on total energy expenditure (TEE) measured by the doubly labeled water (DLW) method. We subsequently aimed to provide the basis for the suitability to apply the IOM equations as EER equations for Koreans, and develop relevant equations for EER in the Dietary Reference Intake for Koreans (KDRI). Additionally, besides the EER(IOM) equations, other equations were examined for EER estimation. Research papers demonstrating the validation of the EER(IOM) equations based on TEE(DLW) were searched through PubMed (up to September 2019). Of the 637 potentially relevant articles identified, duplicates and unsuitable titles and abstracts were excluded. Furthermore, papers with irrelevant subject and inappropriate study design were also excluded. Finally, 11 papers were included in the review. Among the reviewed papers, 8 papers validated the application of the EER(IOM) equations for EER based on TEE(DLW). These included 3 studies for children (USA 1, Korea 2), 1 for adolescents (Portugal), 2 for adults (Korean), and 2 for the elderly (Korea, USA). EER(IOM) equations were found to be generally acceptable for determining EER by using the DLW method, except for Korean boys at 9–11 yrs (overestimated) and female athletes at 19–24 yrs (underestimated). Additionally, 5 papers include the validation of other EER equations, beside EER(IOM) for EER based on TEE(DLW). In Japanese dietary reference intake and recommended dietary allowance, EER equations are acceptable for determining EER based on TEE(DLW). The EER(IOM) equations is generally acceptable for determining EER using the DLW method in Koreans as well as several populations, although certain defined groups were found to be unfit for the estimation. Additionally, the concept of healthy body mass index of Koreans and physical activity levels need to be considered, thereby providing the basis for developing relevant equations of EER in KDRI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S11-S20
JournalNutrition Research and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Policy Research Program for Project No. 20180415A13-00, 25193068200, 25203084501 from the Ministry of Health and Welfare in 2018–2020.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Korean Nutrition Society and the Korean Society of Community Nutrition.


  • Estimated energy requirement
  • Korean dietary reference intake
  • doubly labeled water method
  • validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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