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Nutrients. 2017 Aug 19;9(8). pii: E905. doi: 10.3390/nu9080905.

Dynamic Energy Balance: An Integrated Framework for Discussing Diet and Physical Activity in Obesity Prevention-Is it More than Eating Less and Exercising More?

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Nutrition Area, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 87331, USA.
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA.
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Las Vegas, NV 89123, USA.
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85271, USA.
Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85271, USA.


Understanding the dynamic nature of energy balance, and the interrelated and synergistic roles of diet and physical activity (PA) on body weight, will enable nutrition educators to be more effective in implementing obesity prevention education. Although most educators recognize that diet and PA are important for weight management, they may not fully understand their impact on energy flux and how diet alters energy expenditure and energy expenditure alters diet. Many nutrition educators have little training in exercise science; thus, they may not have the knowledge essential to understanding the benefits of PA for health or weight management beyond burning calories. This paper highlights the importance of advancing nutrition educators' understanding about PA, and its synergistic role with diet, and the value of incorporating a dynamic energy balance approach into obesity-prevention programs. Five key points are highlighted: (1) the concept of dynamic vs. static energy balance; (2) the role of PA in weight management; (3) the role of PA in appetite regulation; (4) the concept of energy flux; and (5) the integration of dynamic energy balance into obesity prevention programs. The rationale for the importance of understanding the physiological relationship between PA and diet for effective obesity prevention programming is also reviewed.


appetite regulation; diet; dynamic energy balance; energy flux; exercise; nutrition education; obesity prevention; physical activity; weight management

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