Establishment and future tasks of estimated energy requirement in 2020 dietary reference intakes for Koreans

Eun Kyung Kim, Oh Yoen Kim, Jonghoon Park, Eun Mi Kim, Juhyeon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Energy requirement is defined as energy expenditure in an energy equilibrium state. The doubly labeled water (DLW) method is considered the gold standard for measuring total energy expenditure (TEE). In 2002, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies established dietary reference intakes (DRIs) for Americans and Canadians, and the equations for estimated energy requirement (EER) were developed by using pooled data from studies that had applied the DLW method. Since 2005, these equations have been used for establishing EER in the DRI for Koreans. These equations based on age group include the physical activity (PA) coefficient determined by the PA level (PAL; sedentary, low active, active and very active) as well as body weight and height. The PAL values of Koreans calculated using the DLW method and PA diaries were determined to fall in the low active category (1.40~1.59). Therefore, the PA coefficient corresponding to 'low active' was applied to the EER equations. In recent years, with increasing number of people regularly engaging in various physical activities in Korea, EER is now separately presented for people with 'active' and 'very active' PALs. In the future, like the United States and Japan, Korea needs to expand the DLW research for developing EER predictive equations for Koreans. In addition, standardized guidelines should be prepared to accurately evaluate the PAL using the physical activity diary and the new PA classification table for Koreans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-583
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nutrition and Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Korean Nutrition Society This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Institute of Medicine
  • dietary reference intakes
  • doubly labeled water
  • energy expenditure
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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