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Math Comput Model Dyn Syst. 2011 Jan 12;17(2):183-203.

A dynamical model for describing behavioural interventions for weight loss and body composition change.

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  • 1Control Systems Engineering Laboratory, School for Engineering of Matter, Transport, and Energy, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA.


We present a dynamical model incorporating both physiological and psychological factors that predicts changes in body mass and composition during the course of a behavioral intervention for weight loss. The model consists of a three-compartment energy balance integrated with a mechanistic psychological model inspired by the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). The latter describes how important variables in a behavioural intervention can influence healthy eating habits and increased physical activity over time. The novelty of the approach lies in representing the behavioural intervention as a dynamical system, and the integration of the psychological and energy balance models. Two simulation scenarios are presented that illustrate how the model can improve the understanding of how changes in intervention components and participant differences affect outcomes. Consequently, the model can be used to inform behavioural scientists in the design of optimised interventions for weight loss and body composition change.

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