Resting Energy Expenditure: From Cellular to Whole‐Body Level, a Mechanistic Historical Perspective

The basis of heat generated by the human body has been a source of speculation and research for more than 2,000 years. Basal heat production, now usually referred to as resting energy expenditure (REE), is currently recognized as deriving from biochemical reactions at subcellular and cellular levels that are expressed in the energy expended by the body’s 78 organs and tissues. These organs and tissues, and the 11 systems to which they belong, influence body size and shape. Connecting these subcellular‐/cellular‐level reactions to organs and tissues, and then on to body size and shape, provides a comprehensive understanding of individual differences in REE, a contemporary topic of interest in obesity research and clinical practice. This review critically examines these linkages, their association with widely used statistical and physiological REE prediction formulas, and often‐unappreciated aspects of measuring basal heat production in humans.
Resting Energy Expenditure (REE), Basal heat production
Heymsfield SB, Smith B, Dahle J, Kennedy S, Fearnbach N, Thomas DM, Bosy-Westphal A, Müller MJ. Resting Energy Expenditure: From Cellular to Whole-Body Level, a Mechanistic Historical Perspective. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2021 Mar;29(3):500-511. doi: 10.1002/oby.23090. PMID: 33624441.