We conducted studies to determine whether the Mayo whole-body counter could be used to measure body potassium, and thus lean body mass (LBM), and whether moderate obesity alters resting energy expenditure when corrected for LBM. Twenty-four nonobese and 18 moderately obese adults underwent body potassium (40K) counting, as well as tritiated water space measurement and indirect calorimetry. LBM values predicted from 40K counting and tritiated water space measurements were highly correlated (P = 0.0001; r = 0.88). Resting energy expenditure was closely related to LBM (P<0.0001; r = 0.78): kcal/day = 622 kcal + (LBM ċ 20.0 kcal/kg LBM). In this relationship, the obese subjects did not differ from nonobese subjects. In summary, the Mayo whole-body counter can accurately measure LBM, and moderate obesity has no detectable effect on corrected resting energy expenditure.
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