Question 9

Define basal metabolic rate and list the factors that affect it. (60% of marks)

Describe the ways it may be measured. (40% of marks)

[Click here to toggle visibility of the answers]

College Answer

Basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy liberated by catabolism of food per unit time, under 
standardised conditions. Knowledge of those conditions (e.g. after a night’s sleep, at rest and with no 
strenuous activity for at least 1 hour, a relaxed subject at a comfortable ambient temperature, at least 
12 hours after a meal) was weak. Factors affecting (e.g. body temperature, various hormones, 
malnutrition, pregnancy, drugs, disease, etc.) it was often incomplete. 

Knowledge of measurement was very poor. Candidates were expected to describe the direct (e.g. by 
using a whole body calorimeter) and indirect (e.g. measuring oxygen consumption) methods.