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J Ky Med Assoc. 2009 Jun;107(6):211-7.

Is enhanced energy utilization the answer to prevention of excessive adiposity?

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Department of Medicine, University of Louisville, 550 South Jackson Street, Louisville, KY 40292, USA.


Excessive adiposity is the result of an imbalance in energy homeostasis whereby excessive food intake is not balanced by increased energy utilization. Much has been learned about the physiology of energy expenditure during resting, eating, and physical activity that allows optimal energy utilization that could reduce excessive adiposity. Resting metabolic rate and diet-induced thermogenesis collectively contribute 75% of energy expenditure that is largely based on carbohydrate rather than fat metabolism. Conversely, physical activity, whether active (planned) or spontaneous (non-exercise activity thermogenesis), predominately utilizes fatty acids as sources of energy expenditure. Such enhanced fat-derived thermogenesis most optimally results in weight loss to achieve maintenance of balanced energy homeostasis. While decreased energy expenditure of 100-200 Kcal/day from sedentary activities can cause weight gain, unplanned spontaneous physical activity expenditure of 100-800 Kcal/day from routine activities such as walking and fidgeting is sufficient to prevent weight gain. Furthermore, planned physical activity can be enhanced up to 16-fold, such that additional fat thermogenesis can be optimized. Such physical activity also achieves adaptive conditioning for more efficient energy utilization and weight loss. It is, therefore, necessary that children as well as adults embrace all forms of non-exercise and planned active exercise activities to achieve optimal fat thermogenesis for optimal energy homeostasis including weight loss for either the overweight or obese. Such lifestyles need to be promoted through educational, environmental, and legislative changes that optimize healthy nutrition and physical activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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