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March 1938


Am J Dis Child. 1938;55(3):455-459. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1938.01980090003001

The widespread use of the test for basal metabolism which has developed since 1910, when F. G. Benedict introduced his new apparatus, has opened up problems which were not anticipated while investigation was confined to physiologic laboratories. When this test became an adjunct of clinical practice, entirely new fields of research were opened. The test was performed not only on normal persons but on patients, and many conditions were found to influence metabolism.

The body surface standards that were used for adult patients gave surprisingly accurate information but were not satisfactory for children. This was appreciated early by many pediatricians, who could not correlate their findings with those of clinical experience; but the worker with adults did not admit that the hard and fast rules applied to mature persons could not be used for children. The difference in point of view can be explained best by the main physiologic difference