Energy metabolism is central to life and altered energy expenditure is often cited as a central mechanism responsible for development of the obese phenotype. Total energy expenditure (EE) is the sum of resting EE, EE of physical activity, cold-induced thermogenesis and thermic effect of feeding. All components add to produce total EE but can also affect each other. It is thus very important that each component be well controlled.
Measuring energy expenditure by indirect calorimetry is extremely simple in theory but the practice if far more difficult. Taking into account temperature in small sized animals, measuring accurately the effect of activity on EE, correcting EE for body size body composition, age sex etc… add difficulties in producing reliable data.
The goal of this topis is to call for the practical experience of main investigators trained to practice calorimetry in order to get their feedback and the way they deal with the various and specific problems of humans and animal calorimetry. The goal is to share the questions/solutions experienced by the contributors to inititate a “guide of the good practices” that could be periodically updated and used by all those who are and will be interested in measuring energy metabolism from the 20g mouse to the human and large farm animals.