Oxygen consumption was measured in 9 short-gestation infants before feeding and for an hour after, using a closed-circuit metabolism chamber. Using the same system, O2 consumption of 9 term infants was measured for varying periods, beginning one hour from the end of the last feed. In the short-gestation infants a rise was found in the 15--45 minutes after feeding; O2 consumption then fell, and after 60 minutes had reached prefeed levels. The term infants showed no decrease with time after the first hour, as would be expected if the effect of feeding on O2 consumption extended beyond this. It is concluded that increased O2 demand after appropriate feeding does not extend beyond one hour postprandially.
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