About the Lab

The Energy Metabolism Unit at the Children's Nutrition Research Center is intended to support and promote novel investigation related to nutrition and energy metabolism.

The unit is equipped with a suite of four metabolic chambers (whole room indirect calorimeters), an infant calorimeter and an exercise laboratory.  A highly specialized team supports this unique research infrastructure for conducting nutrition and energy metabolism studies across the lifespan.

The whole room indirect calorimeters allow minute to minute measures of oxygen uptake (VO2) and carbon dioxide production (VCO2) to provide measurements of the following:

  • Sleeping and Basal metabolic rates
  • 24 hour total energy expenditure
  • Substrate oxidation
  • Exercise energy expenditure (e.g. biking, walking, running, aerobics, or video game play).

In addition to the whole room calorimeters the unit is equipped with the following

  • Metabolic carts which utilize the ventilated hood technique are also available for the measurement of energy expenditure under resting conditions and during clamp studies.
  • The Exercise Laboratory assesses sub-maximum and maximum VO2 measurements in children and adults using the metabolic carts.

Other Core Services

  • Use of the doubly labeled water method to evaluate free-living energy metabolism.
  • Use and calibration of activity and sleep monitors.

Adjacent CNRC Resources:

  • Body Composition Laboratory.
  • Metabolic Research Unit (MRU) for inpatient and outpatient research studies.
  • Metabolic kitchen for preparation of study meals.
  • Mass Spectrometry.