Tools such as magnetic resonance imaging and echocardiography will supply more accurate predictions for energy expenditure and help the industry design more healthy meals in the future, it claims.
And it anticipates that scientific developments enabling more accurate measurement of metabolic rate for major tissues and organs will help too. This, it says, will give scientists a better handle on resting energy use than equations based on body mass index, fat mass and fat free mass.
The claims were made in EFSA’s opinion on Dietary Reference Values for Energy, which it has just published. Barbari Gallani, director of the food safety and science division at the UK’s Food and Drink Federation told FoodNavigator: “At first sight the recommendations seem to be in line with the predictive model used by the [UK] Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition.”
In its conclusions on the opinion, EFSA recommended that further research be conducted into several different areas. These included looking into how ethnicity affected body composition and energy expenditure and investigating standardised conditions for measuring energy expenditure through physical activity, accounting for sex and age.
For a more precise estimate of energy requirements at the European level, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies, which put the opinion together, made further proposals.
These included generating and collecting more data in conjunction with resting energy expenditure measurements in children and adults in the EU of all ages and physical activity levels. In addition, it said diverging data on body composition in infants was necessary for better advice on how much energy they should consume in their diets.