Food requirements are commonly estimated by one of two methods, by measuring the heat output or by measuring the caloric intake. Heat output, as measured by direct or indirect calorimetry, has been most useful and has given the most significant information in defining our standards of basal metabolism. Such information as we have on the total energy requirement has come, in the main, from measurements of the total food intake. In the new-born this has been determined from the amounts of breast milk taken by healthy infants. The summary of von Reuss,1 condensed in Table 1 and plotted in Figure 1, includes most of the data in the literature covering this point.
There is, however, a serious objection to figures based on an assumed correspondence between intake and needs. The amount of breast milk obtained is governed by the supply available. That the supply during the first few days
FABER HK. FOOD REQUIREMENTS IN NEW-BORN INFANTS: A STUDY OF THE SPONTANEOUS INTAKE. Am J Dis Child. 1922;24(1):56–72. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1922.04120070059005
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