In a recent lecture, Du Bois1 remarked, "It is not too much to say that the science of nutrition is founded on the study of the basal energy requirement." A large number of substitutes for this expression — basal metabolism, basal caloric requirement, basal heat production, minimal metabolism, postabsorptive metabolism, total gaseous exchange, etc. — are in current use; and Du Bois suggests that on looking over this formidable list of synonyms one receives the impression that scientists have spent much time in coining phrases, and have tried to make two words grow where one grew before.
It is a credit to the development of science in America that in recent years so much of the valuable information regarding the fundamental facts of nutrition has been the outcome of research work in our own institutions. This applies, among other things, to the determination of the basal metabolism of man.