Research Article

Dietary intakes, resting metabolic rates, and body composition in benign and malignant gastrointestinal disease.

Br Med J 1980; 280 doi: (Published 26 January 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;280:211
  1. M Burke,
  2. E I Bryson,
  3. A E Kark


    Dietary protein and energy intakes were assessed in 42 patients with cancer and 24 with benign conditions of the gastrointestinal tract. The relations of dietary intake to body composition was examined. Resulting metabolic rate was measured in 51 patients. No significant differences in dietary intake or metabolic rate were found between patients with cancer and those with benign disease. There were significant positive correlations between protein and energy intakes and the ratio of total body potassium to total body water in patients with benign disease but not in those with cancer. Weight loss was probably due to inadequate food intake, the main defect being energy deficiency, since protein intake was usually well maintained. Supplementing with energy the voluntary ingested diet of patients with cancer would probably prevent weight loss in most cases.