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October 18, 1930


JAMA. 1930;95(16):1182-1183. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02720160042015

Many features about the body weight are far from being adequately understood. One frequently hears it stated that the body weight is primarily the result of a sort of physiologic bookkeeping, representing the balance between the intake and the outgo of matter. This is determined in turn by the body's need and use of energy-yielding material. Certain functions by which we live and work call for food fuel; others require suitable substances for the replacement of effete matter— the wear-and-tear quota of the body; and when growth also is involved, nutrients must be retained to meet its demands. Intake of food fuel beyond these requirements almost always results, so we have been told, in deposition of the excess. There are exceptions attributable to the effect of the "whipping up" of metabolism by the foodstuffs, notably the proteins. This is currently spoken of as the "specific dynamic action" of foods. It

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