With the development of accurate and easily executed methods of human calorimetry the determination of basal metabolism has found widespread application in the routine of clinical medicine. The value of such a procedure depends in large measure on the dependability of the standards or norms that are accepted for estimating possible deviations from good health or satisfactory physiologic functioning of the organism. The basal metabolism represents the exchange of energy under conditions in which as many variant factors as possible are excluded; this means the metabolism uninfluenced by such agencies as muscular activity, food intake and exceptional external temperature. It has consequently been variously designated as the postabsorptive, maintenance metabolism of bodily rest.
The application of estimations of basal metabolism to the needs of the clinic depends in large measure on the possibility of predicting the normal values that may be expected for the healthy person. Here considerations of size,