Report Title

Investigating the Rationale of Registered Dietitians in Selection of Predictive Equations for Estimation of Resting Metabolic Rate

Collective Title

Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics Research Reports 2021


Background: Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is a critical component of appropriate nutrition plans for Registered Dietitians (RDs) in clinical and outpatient care. Many RMR equations can address some variances. The “clinical judgement” is recommended by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) to decide the best RMR equation. With the discernment of the RD in mind, it was pertinent to delve into the thought-process behind why dietitians used specific energy formulas over other choices.

Objective: To determine which RMR formulas were chosen when calculating caloric needs for patients and assess any trends in rationale for RDs when selecting specific predictive energy formulas.

Design: A descriptive study was conducted through an anonymous online survey through Qualtrics Survey Software. The survey link was included in the emails obtained from Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) and sent out to 3,000 current RDs in the United States.

Participants: 165 RDs (≥ 21 y/o) with active RD credential and currently calculating energy needs in their facilities participated the research.

Main outcome measures: Demographic information, the bias of equations, years of trusted clinical judgment, the use of indirect calorimetry, accuracy of equations and patient outcome, the relationship between demographics and choices of equations.

Statistical analyses performed: Mean and standard deviation and frequency (percentage) were computed for demographics. The Fisher’s Exact Test determined the relationships between the outcome variables and demographic variables.

Results: 66% of RDs use the Kcal per kg body weight equation most frequently for energy needs estimation of the patients. 80% of participants were aware of the biases present in RMR equations. RDs choice of equation is influenced by age (p=0.024) and number of years certified (p=0.004).

Conclusions: These findings support rationale for future research on improving RMR formula accuracy to reduce caloric imbalances and avoid any resulting unintended weight gain or weight loss in patients.

LLU Discipline

Nutrition and Dietetics


Nutrition and Dietetics


School of Allied Health Professions

First Advisor

Cindy Kosch

Second Advisor

Edward Bitok

Third Advisor

Lida Gharibvand

Fourth Advisor

Gurinder Bains

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Resting Metabolic Rate; Predictive equations


Research Report

Page Count

27 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Research Reports

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. University Libraries.