The IAEA is launching a six-year Coordinated Research Project (CRP) focussing on total energy expenditure in the significant life stages of 7 to 13 years of age and 65+ years of age, aimed at closing the knowledge gap in the global understanding of energy balance.
Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are experiencing rapidly rising rates of overweight and obesity, alongside high levels of stunting and wasting. It is important to understand energy balance to define appropriate implementation strategies to manage the double burden of malnutrition. The gold standard of measuring total energy expenditure in a free-living situation is the stable isotope method of doubly labelled water (DLW) technique.
In 2018, the IAEA DLW database was launched to combine data from different DLW studies carried out worldwide and enable more in-depth analyses and understanding of energy balance. Multiple papers have already been published from this database and it continues to change the assumed knowledge on energy balance, metabolism and body composition. However, there is limited data from LMICs and key age ranges available in the database.
The information gathered under the new CRP will enhance Member States’ capabilities to combat malnutrition throughout the life course by providing new data on total energy expenditure and its determinants in significant life stages.
The CRP will comprise of at least five teams from low- and middle-income countries. Each team will bring together researchers with experience in assessing energy balance using the nuclear technique of DLW technique.
How to join the CRP