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Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 Oct;56(4):641-55.

Metabolic response to experimental overfeeding in lean and overweight healthy volunteers.

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  • 1Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre, Cambridge, UK.


Possible adaptive mechanisms that may defend against weight gain during periods of excessive energy intake were investigated by overfeeding six lean and three overweight young men by 50% above baseline requirements with a mixed diet for 42 d [6.2 +/- 1.9 MJ/d (mean +/- SD), or a total of 265 +/- 45 MJ]. Mean weight gain was 7.6 +/- 1.6 kg (58 +/- 18% fat). The energy cost of tissue deposition (28.7 +/- 4.4 MJ/kg) matched the theoretical cost (26.0 MJ/kg). Basal metabolic rate (BMR) increased by 0.9 +/- 0.4 MJ/d and daily energy expenditure assessed by whole-body calorimetry (CAL EE) increased by 1.8 +/- 0.5 MJ/d. Total free-living energy expenditure (TEE) measured by doubly labeled water increased by 1.4 +/- 2.0 MJ/d. Activity and thermogenesis (computed as CAL EE--BMR and TEE--BMR) increased by only 0.9 +/- 0.4 and 0.9 +/- 2.1 MJ/d, respectively. All outcomes were consistent with theoretical changes due to the increased fat-free mass, body weight, and energy intake. There was no evidence of any active energy-dissipating mechanisms.

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