Factors such as age, diet, climate, race and menstruation exert a significant effect on the basal metabolism of the normal human subject. Each of these has received considerable attention, particularly the questions of age and of diet. The effect of age has been adequately established. There is a steady increase during infancy from the low values of approximately 25 calories an hour per square meter of body surface obtained on new-born infants to a maximum value somewhat greater than 50 calories an hour per square meter of body surface at an age of between 3 and 5 years. Thereafter a gradual decrease in basal metabolism occurs during childhood, middle age and old age. The exceedingly low value of 21.1 calories an hour per square meter of body surface has recently been obtained1 in a woman 106 years old.
The decrease in basal metabolism during childhood is constant with the
FACTORS AFFECTING BASAL METABOLISM. JAMA. 1936;107(5):357. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770310035014
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