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Health Agencies Update
June 23/30, 2015

NIH Study Demonstrates Metabolism Affects Ease of Weight Loss

JAMA. 2015;313(24):2415. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.6575

National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers have demonstrated that individuals with a slow (“thrifty”) metabolism lose less weight when their caloric intake decreases than individuals with a fast (“spendthrift”) metabolism (Reinhardt et al. Diabetes. doi:10.2337/db14-1881 [published online May 11, 2015]).

Researchers at the Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch (PECRB), part of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, measured the energy expenditure of 12 obese individuals (7 men and 5 women) during a 24-hour fasting and 200% overfeeding period. The researchers calculated the participants’ base metabolism rate by using a whole-room indirect calorimeter, which uses air samples to calculate energy expenditure. The study participants then followed a 6-week, 50% calorie-restricted diet in an inpatient program.