Harris-Benedict Equation Calculator for Nutrition Professionals

Assessing the calorie and nutrient requirements of human beings, with the highest possible degree of accuracy, is an essential tool used by nutrition professionals in their clinical setting.

To assess the calorie requirements of nutrition clients, professionals often use Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) during the first session and then add their physical activity factor.

Why use Harris-Benedict equations with nutrition clients

First, it is essential to know what are the validated BMR equations and for what populations they have been studied on. Knowing that, and what is the client's goal, it is easy to assess their caloric requirements.

Generally speaking, the Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the minimal rate of energy expenditure compatible with life - such as breathing, keeping warm, and keeping the heart beating - typically measured in a resting position.

Different populations require different energy needs, for example, an athlete will have different body composition from an obese client. That is why knowing what predictive equations to use in each case is essential.

The Harris-Benedict formula was determined in 1918 and it is still widely used to assess the BMR of healthy individuals due to its high accuracy.

Harris and Benedict assessed the BMR of normal and healthy individuals of both sexes and widely different ages. They took into consideration the following aspects of each individual:

  • age;
  • height;
  • weight;
  • sex.

Harris-Benedict Calculator

7 other BMR equations to assess nutrition clients needs

Nutrium is a nutrition software for professionals working in nutrition counseling and private practice.

It has integrated over seven different predictive equations to assess the client's BMR. These are adapted for different demographics and special conditions:

  • WHO Equation;
  • Harris-Benedict Equation for the general population
  • Harris-Benedict Equation Revised calibrated for obese people;
  • Mifflin St. Jeor Equation for the US;
  • Katch Mcardle Equation for college men and women;
  • Cunningham Equation (includes fat-free mass variable);
  • Henry Equation for the UK;
  • Black et al. for the French population;
  • Ten Haaf Equation (weight) for athletes;
  • Ten Haaf Equation (lean body mass) for athletes.

This software will help you streamline nutrition consults and allows professionals to offer a personalized and more accurate service to their clients.

If you haven't already, enjoy Nutrium 14-day trial for free to see how easy it is to make dietary recommendations for your clients using these predictive equations.


Harris J, Benedict F. A biometric study of basal metabolism in man. Washington D.C. Carnegie Institute of Washington. 1919.

United Nations University, and World Health Organization. Human Energy Requirements: Report of a Joint FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation: Rome, 17-24 October 2001. Vol. 1. Food & Agriculture Org., 2004.