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Title: The basal metabolic rate during pregnancy in relation to the total energy cost
Author: Fitzgerald, Geraldine Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 1989
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To calculate the energy cost of pregnancy, a group of 61 women were followed longitudinally throughout pregnancy and post-natally. Data are presented on the BMR, weight gain, fat gain and birth weights. From this information the total energy cost of pregnancy is calculated, and the contribution to this made by changes in the BMR. The results are compared to those of other studies, including a multinational study of which this data constitutes a part. The study was carried out over 4 years, in two two-yearly phases. In the first phase 21 women were measured at 6 weekly intervals, while in the second phase 20 women were measured at 2-weekly intervals and 20 at 4-weekly intervals. The effect of the frequency of BMR measurements is examined. The energy cost of changes in the BMR for the 61 women was found to be 51 MJ, which is lower than previously calculated (Hytten & Chamberlain, 1980), and the figure obtained in a continuation of this study (Durnin 1987). The reasons for this are discussed and recommendations made for future studies. The mean weight gain of the 61 women from 10 weeks gestation was 11.0 kg, which is comparable to figures previously found. The mean fat gain was calculated and found to be 2.1 kg, which is lower than previous calculations. A decreased fat gain during pregnancy decreases the total energy cost. The mean birth weight was 3.4 kg, comparable to that of Hytten and Chamberlain (1980). From these components the total energy cost was found to be 196 MJ (47,000 kcal). The BMR data underestimates the cost, and from a continuation of the study a more accurate figure would be 275 MJ (66,000 kcal). This is still below the previously quoted cost upon which recommended daily allowances for pregnancy are based, and therefore it is considered that there is evidence for revising the current RDAs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available