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Measurement of energy cost of selected household and farm activities performed by rural women

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A nutritional study was carried out on 30 rural, low-income women, aged 25 to 35 years, in the village of Dhandra, Ludhiana District, Punjab, India, to measure the energy cost of selected household and farm activities. The mean weight, mid-upper-arm circumference, and triceps skinfold thickness were below the reference The various methods for evaluating the energy expenditure of specific activities have been reviewed by the International Dietary Energy Consultative Group (IDECG) [2]. Doubly labeled isotope methods give the estimated total energy expenditure over several days but are not applicable to individual activities. Electronic measurement of heart rate calibrated against measurement of oxygen consumption at various heart rates has been reasonably valid.

Another approach to the intensity of various activities has been the use of an accelerometer about the size of a pocket watch, either mechanical or electronic. The results must be calibrated against data from direct measurement. The Caltrac accelerometer used in the study that follows takes this method a step further by automating the calculations. However, as the authors conclude, like other indirect methods, it must be calibrated against data from direct measurements of energy expenditure.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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