Basal metabolic rate and body composition predict habitual food and macronutrient intakes: Gender differences

Xinyan Bi, Ciarán G. Forde, Ai Ting Goh, Christiani Jeyakumar Henry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The underlying mechanisms that regulate energy homeostasis and food intake are not fully understood. Moreover, little research has been performed on the relation of body composition with habitual macronutrient intake among free-living populations. Since body composition and energy metabolism differ between males and females, we aimed to determine whether the relationship between body composition and habitual macronutrient intakes is gender-dependent. In this cross-sectional study, 261 participants (99 males) were recruited from Singapore. Macronutrient intake was evaluated from a three-day self-reported dietary record. Body composition and basal metabolic rate (BMR) were determined by using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and indirect calorimetry, respectively. Our results show that both BMR (p < 0.001) and lean body mass (LBM, p < 0.001) predicted daily energy intake (EI). LBM was positively associated with intakes of protein (PRO) and fat (FAT) in females, but not in males. This relationship persisted even after adjustment for fat mass (FM). On the other hand, no significant associations between FM and macronutrient intake were observed in both males and females. Therefore, the relationship between habitual macronutrient intake, LBM, and BMR is gender-dependent. Elucidating the gender differences in energy metabolism is important for understanding the factors that regulate energy homeostasis and can subsequently help better manage energy balance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2653
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Basal metabolic rate
  • Body composition
  • Gender difference
  • Macronutrient intake


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