Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Basal metabolic rate, the lowest level of energy required for basic maintenance of an organism; aka basal metabolism. The rate at which metabolic reactions occur when the individual is awake but resting, is not thermally stressed, and is fasting (eliminating the thermal effects of food; in humans this is twelve hours after the last meal). Basal metabolic rate is generally measured as amount of oxygen consumed or carbon dioxide produced.

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From "Dictionary of Nursing and Individual Health Care"