Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Chomentowski, Peter J.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Health Studies


This study intends to identify a predictive resting metabolic rate (pRMR) equation that is predictive of the measured resting metabolic rate (mRMR) in a sample that includes a group of Black Americans. The handful of commonly used pRMR equations, such as the Mifflin- St. Jeor or Harris-Benedict equations, were created without defining the demographics of their populations, while validation of these equations is typically done with almost exclusively Caucasian subjects. Black and brown Americans require the same evidence of precision in predictions of daily energy needs as Caucasian Americans. When applied to non-Caucasian samples, these equations appear in the literature to be overestimations. Potentially, differences in body composition and lean body mass (LBM) by ethnicity are the root of this inaccuracy. Thus, ethnicity is an apparent variable worthy of consideration and pRMR equations accurate in a Black sample may need to include LBM to estimate kilocaloric needs. To that end, a sample of 36 Black subjects (Group 1) and 32 Caucasian subjects (Group 2) participated in indirect calorimetry for the determination of which equations are accurate or inaccurate in these respective populations. Thirteen pRMR equations from peer-reviewed articles were compared to subjects’ measurements. The Cunningham equation emerged as the best predictor for the entire sample which included Black and Caucasian participants. The Mifflin – St Jeor equation was surprisingly accurate for the Black group and not the Caucasian group, while the Harris – Benedict equation was accurate for the Caucasian group alone. Regression analyses revealed significant ∆R2 when ethnicity was added to the hierarchy. Since ethnicity appears to play a role in the validity of pRMR equations 2 new equations, Bannister Form 1 and Bannister Form 2 were created with this data set which outperform the commonly used equations in many instances. Further research with diverse samples should be done with a larger sample size to fully elucidate the magnitude and direction of the effect ethnicity has on mRMR and pRMR equations’ accuracy to identify equations that are generalizable to the entire population.


57 pages




Northern Illinois University

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