Battling obesity is not so easy
Battling obesity is not as simple as eating less and exercising more, and for those who struggle to meet their weight loss targets, a new equation may offer some help.
Scientists are now using mathematics to better understand the physiology of weight loss, and more accurately predict just how much weight someone will lose on a specific diet and exercise regime.
In the past, physicians assumed that eating 500 fewer calories per day would lead to about a pound of weight loss per week, said Kevin Hall, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.
But it turns out, this rule of thumb is wrong, Hall said, because it doesn`t take into account that metabolism slows down during dieting. Thus, predictions that used this rule were overly optimistic, Hall said.
Hall and colleagues have developed a model that takes into account an individual`s age, height, weight and physical activity level to better predict how much weight they might lose on a diet and exercise plan.