Health Questions and Answers

Question: What factors control energy homeostasis?


Energy homeostasis is achieved by complex interactions between the brain and neural factors that control appetite and satiety, nutrient metabolism, and hormonal systems. Much research is currently being conducted in the neural mechanisms that regulate feeding and energy balance. Most evidence suggests that obese people do not have major alterations in their basal metabolic rates. In fact, since total energy expenditure is linearly related to BMI, obese people actually require more calories for weight maintenance than lean people. It is much more likely that obesity develops as a multifactorial process involving genetic predisposition as well as environmental and behavioral factors. 

Reference: Larson PR, et al: Williams Textbook of Endocrinology, 10th ed. Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders, 2003. 

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