Data on the basal metabolism of children 2 to 4 years of age are limited. Determination of the normalcy of the basal metabolism of a child is difficult because of the lack of precise values for comparison.
Basal metabolism, as the term is used in this study, means the basic heat production calculated from utilization of oxygen as determined under precise, standard conditions. It does not mean the "irreducible minimum of energy expenditure without which life is impossible."1 Perhaps "standard metabolism" is a more accurate term, but popular usage prefers the term basal metabolism even when the metabolism is determined according to a certain, specified procedure.
The conditions observed for basal metabolism determinations were as follows: (1) complete muscular relaxation; (2) postabsorptive condition (twelve to fourteen hours after last intake of food); (3) lying awake in a comfortable environment; (4) freedom from physiologic disturbance, as indicated by normal sublingual