Central neural and endocrine mechanisms of non-exercise activity thermogenesis and their potential impact on obesity.
ABSTRACT The rise in obesity is associated with a decline in the amount of physical activity in which people engage. The energy expended through everyday non-exercise activity, called non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), has a considerable potential impact on energy balance and weight gain. Comparatively little attention has been paid to the central mechanisms of energy expenditure and how decreases in NEAT might contribute to obesity. In this review, we first examine the sensory and endocrine mechanisms through which energy availability and energy balance are detected that may influence NEAT. Second, we describe the neural pathways that integrate these signals. Lastly, we consider the effector mechanisms that modulate NEAT through the alteration of activity levels as well as through changes in the energy efficiency of movement. Systems that regulate NEAT according to energy balance may be linked to neural circuits that modulate sleep, addiction and the stress response. The neural and endocrine systems that control NEAT are potential targets for the treatment of obesity.
Article: Obesity is a sign - over-eating is a symptom: an aetiological framework for the assessment and management of obesity.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Obesity is characterized by the accumulation of excess body fat and can be conceptualized as the physical manifestation of chronic energy excess. Using the analogy of oedema, the consequence of positive fluid balance or fluid retention, obesity can be seen as the consequence of positive energy balance or calorie 'retention'. Just as the assessment of oedema requires a comprehensive assessment of factors related to fluid balance, the assessment of obesity requires a systematic assessment of factors potentially affecting energy intake, metabolism and expenditure. Rather than just identifying and describing a behaviour ('this patient eats too much'), clinicians should seek to identify the determinants of this behaviour ('why, does this patient eat too much?'). This paper provides an aetiological framework for the systematic assessment of the socio-cultural, biomedical, psychological and iatrogenic factors that influence energy input, metabolism and expenditure. The paper discusses factors that affect metabolism (age, sex, genetics, neuroendocrine factors, sarcopenia, metabolically active fat, medications, prior weight loss), energy intake (socio-cultural factors, mindless eating, physical hunger, emotional eating, mental health, medications) and activity (socio-cultural factors, physical and emotional barriers, medications). It is expected that the clinical application of this framework can help clinicians systematically assess, identify and thereby address the aetiological determinants of positive energy balance resulting in more effective obesity prevention and management.Obesity Reviews 11/2009; 11(5):362-70. · 7.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: As a group, Canadian children and youth are heavier than at any time in the recent past. However, to date there has been no critical examination of the factors which are likely to have contributed to these deleterious trends. A review of the evidence suggests that there is robust evidence supporting the role of reduced sleep, increased sedentary time, increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and secular increases in adult obesity as contributing factors to the current epidemic of childhood obesity. There is moderate evidence that these trends are related to changes in either total energy intake or physical activity, while there is very little evidence supporting the role of maternal age, breastfeeding, exposure to endocrine disrupters, or inadequate calcium intake. These findings suggest that targeting sleep, sedentary time, and sugar-sweetened beverage intake in Canadian children and youth may help to prevent future weight gain at the population level.ISRN pediatrics. 01/2011; 2011:917684.
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The decline in physical activity (PA) across adolescence is well established but influence of biological maturity on the process has been largely overlooked. This paper reviews the limited number of studies which examine the relationship between timing of biological maturity and PA. Results are generally inconsistent among studies. Other health-related behaviors are also considered in an effort to highlight the complexity of relationships between biological maturation and behavior and to provide future research directions.Pediatric exercise science 08/2010; 22(3):332-49. · 1.71 Impact Factor