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Ad libitum food intake on a "cafeteria diet" in Native American women: Relations with body composition and 24-h energy expenditure


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Epidemiologic studies consistently report associations between obesity and dietary fat but not total energy intake. We measured ad libitum food intake in a laboratory setting and evaluated its relation to body weight and composition, energy expenditure, and macronutrient utilization in 28 women of Pima-Papago heritage (aged 27 +/- 7 y, 85.3 +/- 19.0 kg, 44 +/- 6% body fat; means +/- SD). All women were studied during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. After a 4-d weight-maintenance period, the volunteers selected their food for 5 d from computerized vending machines offering a variety of familiar and preferred foods, ie, a "cafeteria diet". Twenty-four-hour energy expenditure and substrate oxidation were measured in a respiratory chamber on the 4th d o weight maintenance and the 5th d of ad libitum intake. Average ad libitum intake was 13,732 +/- 4238 kJ/d (11 +/- 1% protein, 40 +/- 1% fat, 49 +/- 4% carbohydrate), ie, moderate overeating by 27 +/- 37% above weight maintenance requirements (range: -27% to 124%). Percent body fat correlated with daily energy intake (r = 0.53, P < 0.01), the degree of overeating (r = 0.41, P < 0.05), and the selection of a diet higher in fat and lower in carbohydrate (r = 0.70 and r = -0.63, respectively, P < 0.001). Excess carbohydrate intake caused an increase in carbohydrate oxidation (r = 0.51, P < 0.01), whereas excess fat intake resulted in a decrease in fat oxidation (r = -0.53, P < 0.01) and thus a positive fat balance of 85 +/- 65 g/d. The positive relations among degrees of obesity, dietary fat intake and overeating, and the fact that dietary fat does not induce fat oxidation, support the hypothesis that dietary fat promotes obesity in women.
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Am J Clin Nutr 1995;62:911-7. Printed in USA. © 1995 American Society for Clinical Nutrition 911
Ad libitum food intake on a “cafeteria diet” in Native
American women: relations with body composition and
24-h energy expenditure1’2
D Enette Larson, Pietro A Tataranni, Robert T Ferraro, and Eric Ravussin
ABSTRACT Epidemiologic studies consistently report asso-
ciations between obesity and dietary fat but not total energy intake.
We measured ad libitum food intake in a laboratory setting and
evaluated its relation to body weight and composition, energy
expenditure, and macronutrient utilization in 28 women of Pima-
Papago heritage (aged 27 ±7 y, 85.3 ± 19.0 kg, 44 ± 6% body
fat; i ±SD). All women were studied during the follicular phase
of the menstrual cycle. After a 4-d weight-maintenance period, the
volunteers selected their food for 5d from computerized vending
machines offering a variety of familiar and preferred foods, ie, a
“cafeteria diet”. Twenty-four-hour energy expenditure and sub-
strate oxidation were measured in a respiratory chamber on the 4th
d of weight maintenance and the 5th d of ad libitum intake.
Average ad libitum intake was 13 732 ±4238 kJ/d (11 ± 1%
protein, 40 ±1% fat, 49 ±4% carbohydrate), ie, moderate
overeating by 27 ±37% above weight maintenance requirements
(range: -27% to 124%). Percent body fat correlated with daily
energy intake (n =0.53, P<0.01), the degree of overeating (r =
0.41, P<0.05), and the selection of a diet higher in fat and lower
in carbohydrate (r =0.70 and r-0.63, respectively, P<
0.001). Excess carbohydrate intake caused an increase in carbo-
hydrate oxidation (r =0.51, P<0.01), whereas excess fat intake
resulted in a decrease in fat oxidation (r =-0.53, P<0.01) and
thus a positive fat balance of 85 ±65 g/d. The positive relations
among degrees of obesity, dietary fat intake and overeating, and
the fact that dietary fat does not induce fat oxidation, support the
hypothesis that dietary fat promotes obesity in women. Am J
Clin Nutr 1995;62:911-7.
KEY WORDS Obesity, macronutrient intake and oxida-
tion, respiratory chamber, food-selection system
It is well accepted that energy intake in excess of energy
expenditure is the primary cause of obesity. A more recent
approach to the study of the etiology of obesity, however, is to
consider separately the dietary balances of protein, carbohy-
drate, and fat (1, 2). Flatt (1), a pioneer in this area, proposed
that the difficulty in achieving fat balance on a Western fat-rich
diet may be a key factor in promoting body weight gain and
obesity. According to Flatt, fluctuations in carbohydrate and
protein intakes are compensated for by rapid, parallel fluctua-
tions in carbohydrate and protein oxidation, whereas most
excess dietary fat is not oxidized but stored in adipose tissue.
The development of obesity, therefore, may be related to ex-
cess fat intake, as consistently reported in large-scale studies
(3-8), or because of a reduced ability of obesity-prone mdi-
viduals to oxidize fat (2, 9).
The Pima and Papago Indians of the southwestern United
States are members of an obesity-prone population with a
prevalence of obesity approaching 80% in women (10). Pro-
spective studies in nondiabetic Pima Indians showed that a low
metabolic rate, for a given body size and composition (1 1), and
a low ratio of fat to carbohydrate oxidation are risk factors for
body weight gain (9). Little is known, however, about the
relations among ad libitum food intake and energy and macro-
nutrient balances in this and other populations.
The objective of this study was to investigate the associa-
tions between obesity and both energy and fat intakes in
women of Pima-Papago heritage. Recently, we published re-
sults on the use of an automated food-selection system to
measure ad libitum food intake in male volunteers on a meta-
bolic ward (12, 13). This system allows individuals free access
to a wide variety of familiar foods that can be tailored to their
preferences. Using this system, we asked whether 1) ad libitum
energy intake is related to body weight or obesity, 2) ad libitum
fat intake is related to obesity, and 3) changes in ad libitum
energy and macronutrient intakes are balanced by parallel
changes in energy expenditure and macronutrient oxidation?
Twenty-eight nondiabetic women of Pima-Papago heritage
were admitted for 10 d to the metabolic ward of the Clinical
Diabetes and Nutrition Section of the National Institute of
Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). None
of the subjects reported a recent attempt to lose weight. On
IFrom the Clinical Diabetes and Nutrition Section, National Institute of
Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health,
Phoenix, AZ.
2Reprints not available. Address correspondence to DE Larson, Depart-
ment of Nutrition Sciences, Energy Metabolism Research Unit, The Uni-
versity of Alabama at Birmingham, Susan Mott Webb Nutrition Sciences
Building, 1629 University Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35294-3360.
Received August 22, 1994
Accepted for publication July 28, 1995
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± SD; range in parentheses.
admission, all volunteers were determined to be in good health
by medical history, physical examination, electrocardiogram,
blood screening, and urine test. According to their medical
history, all had regularly occurring menstrual cycles. None
were taking oral contraceptives or other medications. Their
physical characteristics are presented in Table 1. Body com-
position was determined by hydrostatic weighing with simul-
taneous measurement of residual lung volume. Percent body fat
was estimated from body density by using the equation of Sin
(14). Circumferences of the waist (at the level of the umbilicus)
and thigh (at the gluteal fold) were measured supine and
standing, respectively. The ratio of waist to thigh circumfer-
ence is an estimate of centrality of body fat. Seventeen volun-
teens had normal glucose tolerance and 1 1 had impaired glu-
cose tolerance, according to the criteria of the World Health
Organization. None of the volunteers were classified as binge
eaters according to the Gormally Binge Eating Scale (15), on
were clinically depressed according to their medical history.
Volunteers were restricted to the metabolic ward for the
duration of the study. Activity on the metabolic ward was
limited to ambulation in the hallways, playing billiards, and
playing table games. In addition, volunteers had supervised
outings to the hospital countyand two or three times a week for
3()-45 mm each. Sixteen of the volunteers were nonsmokers
and 12 were occasional smokers. They were allowed to smoke
only during scheduled, supervised outings. None of the volun-
teens complained of difficulties from the restrictive smoking
regimen. The experiment was approved by the Institutional
Review Board of the NIDDK and written, informed consent
was obtained.
Experimental protocol
To avoid any potential influence of menstrual cycle phase on
food intake or energy expenditure, volunteers were studied in
the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. They reported to the
metabolic ward on the second or third day after the start of
menstruation and were studied during the following 9 d. Sub-
jects’ nude body weights were measured after they voided each
morning at 0530. For the first 4 d, volunteers were placed on a
standardized weight maintenance diet (20% protein, 30% fat,
and 50% carbohydrate) initially calculated by using a meta-
bolic ward prediction equation based on sex, body weight, and
height (unpublished), and subsequently adjusted to maintain
body weight within 1% of the weight on the second day of
admission. If necessary, adjustments were made to accommo-
date food dislikes. In our experience, we have determined that
4 d is sufficient for estimating weight maintenance require-
Physical characteristics of 28 women of Pima-Papago heritage’
Age (y) 27 ± 7 (19-5 1)
Height (cm) 160 ± 6 (150-173)
Weight (kg) 85.3 ± 19.0 (61.5-131.5)
BMI (kg/m2) 33.1 ± 6.9 (23.()-50.5
Percent body fat (%) 44 ± 6 (29-55)
Fat-free mass (kg) 47.5 ± 7.5 (35.0-64.1)
Fat mass (kg) 38.0 ± 13.0 (19.2-66.7)
Waist-thigh ratio 1.57 ± 0.21 (1.2()-2.23)
ments on a metabolic ward. On the 4th d of weight mainte-
nance, 24-h energy expenditure (24-h EE) was measured in a
respiratory chamber as previously described (16). After this
measurement, volunteers consumed all food ad libitum from an
automated food-selection system for 4 d. The 24-h EE mea-
sunement was repeated on day 5of ad libitum intake with the
volunteer using a food-selection system placed in the respira-
tory chamber. Three blood samples were drawn for measure-
ment of estradiol and progesterone: 1) on admission, 2) the
evening before the first measurement of 24-h EE (weight
maintenance period), and 3) immediately after the last mea-
surement of 24-h EE (ad libitum period). Serum estradiol and
progesterone were measured by nadioimmunoassay in a 10-mL
blood sample drawn from the antecubital vein. Follicular phase
was documented by a progesterone concentration < 1.0 .tWL
throughout the study and verified by estradiol concentration.
Automated food-selection system
The automated food-selection system was described previ-
ously (12, 13). Briefly, it includes two vending machines
(model 3007; U-Select-It, Des Moines, IA) that together con-
tam 40 trays. For this study, 34 trays were stocked with food
items and 6 with beverages. A typical “cafeteria diet” was
available including a variety of foods with varying fat, protein,
and carbohydrate contents. These included low-, medium-, and
high-fat entrees; low- and high-fat meats; cheese; bread; torti-
llas; pinto beans; fruit; vegetables; cereal; French fries; pop-
corn; chips; nuts; and low-and high-fat pastry or desserts. The
selection included food items typical of the Pima diet (17) and
tailored to individual food preferences. The same selection was
offered each day but changed slightly with the four daily loads
(0600, 1000, 1500 and 1800). In general, =20 of the 40 trays
at each load contained low-fat items ( 30% fat) and 10
contained high-fat items ( 50% fat). A selection of low- and
high-fat condiments was also available from a small refniger-
ator and was counted and restocked daily.
During the ad libitum period, volunteers were asked to
follow their typical eating pattern and were instructed to return
empty wrappers and unconsumed food portions to the vending
machines. Weights of all items loaded in and returned to the
vending machines were recorded. Daily energy, protein, fat,
and carbohydrate intakes were calculated from actual weights
of food and condiments consumed. During the 4-d ad libitum
period on the ward, volunteers had 24-h access to the vending
machines, housed in a separate eating area equipped with a
table, chain, television set, microwave oven, and toaster. For
simultaneous measurement of food intake and 24-h EE on day
5, the vending machine in the respiratory chamber was loaded
before the measurement period with the food items most often
selected during the previous 4 d.
Energy expenditure and substrate oxidation
Carbon dioxide production, oxygen consumption, and spon-
taneous physical activity (SPA) were measured continuously in
the respiratory chamber for 23 h from 0800 to 0700 the next
day and values were extrapolated to 24 h (16). Carbohydrate,
fat, and protein oxidation rates were calculated from 24-h
oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, and urinary
nitrogen excretion (18). Sleeping metabolic rate (SMR) was
defined as the average energy expenditure during all 15-mm
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periods between 2300 and 0500 when the activity measured by
radar was <1.5%. During the weight maintenance measure-
ment, volunteers fasted from 2000 the evening before entering
the chamber. To account for confinement within the chamber,
80-85% of the weight-maintenance energy was given (19). No
restnictjons were applied during the ad libitum period. During
both measurements in the chamber, volunteers were asked not
to exercise in the chamber.
Data analysis
Energy intake is expressed in kJ/d, and as a percentage of
weight-maintenance-energy requirements (mean of 3 d). En-
ergy and macronutrient balances were compared between the
last day of weight maintenance and the last day of ad libitum
intake. To further assess the relation between energy and
macronutrient balances and obesity, the data were also divided
into tertiles of percent body fat.
Statistical analyses were performed with the programs of the
SAS Insthute Inc (Cary, NC). All data are expressed as mean
±SD. Comparisons of mean daily energy intake, macronutni-
ent composition, and energy metabolism between the weight
maintenance and ad libitum phases were performed by using
paired Student’s ttests. Comparisons between the upper and
lower tertiles of body fat were performed by using unpaired
Student’s ttests. During the ad libitum period, an analysis of
variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures was used to detect
the effect of time on energy or macronutrient consumption.
Relations between variables were assessed by Spearman cor-
relation or by linear-regression analyses.
Ad libitum food intake
Mean energy intake required for weight maintenance on our
metabolic ward was 9360 ± 1510 kJ/d (4.184 kJ =1 kcal).
During the ad libitum period, energy intake was increased to an
average of 13 732 ±4238 kJ/d (P <0.0001). Compared with
weight maintenance, ad libitum intake resulted in moderate
overeating for the group by 27 ± 37% (P <0.001) varying
from -27% to 124%. On average, the selected diet was com-
posed of 1 1 ±1% protein, 40 ±3% fat, and 49 ±4%
carbohydrate, which is higher in fat and lower in protein than
the imposed weight-maintenance diet (P <0.0001). The food
quotient of the ad libitum diet or the theoretical ratio of carbon
dioxide production to oxygen consumption was 0.846 ± 0.01 1.
By experimental design, the food quotient of the weight-main-
tenance diet was 0.866. In the ad libitum period, by repeated-
measures ANOVA, there was no effect of time (day of study)
on energy or macronutnient consumption.
After 5d of ad libitum intake, body weight increased by 0.4
±0.9 kg (P <0.05) over mean baseline body weight. The
change in body weight varied widely among individuals, from
-1.1 to 2.8 kg, and correlated with energy balance (deficit or
excess) over the 5-d period (r =0.60, P<0.001).
The relations between ad libitum energy intake, macronutri-
ent composition, and body weight and composition are re-
ported in Table 2. As shown in Figure 1, percent body fat was
associated with the percentage of fat in the diet (r =0.70, P<
0.00 1 )and the degree of overeating above weight maintenance
(r 0.41, P<0.05). By multiple-regression analysis, how-
ever, percent body fat was no longer associated with the degree
of overeating after the percent of fat in the diet was adjusted
for. This was due to the fact that percentage fat in the diet and
the degree of overeating were correlated (r =0.41 ,P<0.05).
There was no difference in food intake and composition of the
diet between the 17 subjects with normal glucose tolerance and
the 1 1 with impaired glucose tolerance.
Energy expenditure and macronutrient oxidation
Intake, oxidation, and balance values on day 4 of the weight-
maintenance period and day 5of the ad libitum period are
reported in Table 3. Overeating during the ad libitum period
was associated with significant increases (P <0.001) in SMR
(from 5994 ± 870 to 6464 ± I 126 kJ/d) and spontaneous
physical activity (from 6.7 ± 1.8 to 7.6 ± 3.1%/mm, P<
0.05), but not 24-h EE (NS). The higher respiratory quotient
during ad libitum intake reflects increased carbohydrate oxida-
tion and decreased fat oxidation. These changes in intake and
oxidation during the ad libitum period resulted in positive
balances for each macronutnient (Table 3).
During the ad libitum period, both carbohydrate and protein
oxidation correlated with their respective intakes (r =0.77 and
r0.71, respectively, P<0.0001). Fat oxidation, however,
was not positively correlated with fat intake, but was positively
correlated with the difference or “gap” between 24-h EE and
the sum of the energy ingested as carbohydrate and protein (r
=0.73, P<0.0001).
As shown in Figure 2, the change in 24-h EE between the ad
libitum and weight-maintenance periods correlated with
change in energy intake (r =0.51, P<0.01). The change in
carbohydrate oxidation correlated with the change in carbohy-
drate intake (r =0.51, P<0.01) whereas the change in fat
oxidation correlated negatively with the change in fat intake
(r -0.53, P<0.01).
Spearman rank correlation coefficients (r between body weight and body composition. and ad lihitum energy intake and macronutrient composition’
Energy (kJ) Overeating2
(%) Protein
(%) Fat
(e/() Carbohydrate
(C/e) Food quotient’
Weight 0.41 (0.03) 0.27 0.26 0.30 -0.32 -0.33
Percent body fat 0.53 (0.01) 0.41 (0.03) 0.27 0.70 (0(1(X)!) -0.63 (0.(X)l) -0.68 (0.()001)
Waist-thigh ratio 0.52 (0.01) 0.44 (0.02) -0.15 0.23 -0.09 -0.14
,Pvalue in parentheses.
2Defined as the percent above or below weight-maintenance-energy requirements.
3Theoretical respiratory quotient of the diet.
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)5 0
 .2
(r=O.70, P=O.0001)
3 0 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 6
(r=O.41 ,P<O.05)
-50 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60
%Body Fat
FIGURE 1. The degree of overeating (lower panel) and the selection of
a high-fat diet (upper panel) correlated positively with percent body fat
(it =28). (After the exclusion of one outlier, r=0.51, P<0.01 for the
relation between the degree of overeating and percent body fat).
Most compared with least obese volunteers
When individuals in the upper and lower tertiles for obesity
were grouped (n 9 per group), energy intake for the most
obese group (101.8 ± 17.6 kg, 50 ± 3% body fat) was 16 117
±3845 compared with 1 1 334 ± 4586 kJ/d (P <0.05) in the
least obese group (74. 1 ±1 1.1 kg, 36 ± 4% body fat). On
average, the selected diet was composed of 12 ±1% protein,
44 ±2% fat, and 44 ±2% carbohydrate for the most obese
group and 1 1 ±1% protein, 38 ± 2% fat, and 51 ±3%
carbohydrate for the least obese group (P <0.0001 for fat and
carbohydrate). These differences were associated with a higher
24-h EE in the most obese compared with the least obese group
(10376 ± 1502 and 7401 ± 749 kJ/d, respectively) but no
difference in 24-h respiratory quotient (0.892 ± 0.033 and
0.881 ± 0.041, respectively). As shown in Figure 3, this
resulted in a more positive fat balance in the most obese group.
Using an automated food-selection system, we investigated
whether ad libitum food intake was related to body weight and
obesity in women with a genetic predisposition to obesity.
When offered unlimited access to a variety of palatable and
familiar foods for 5d, there was a wide range of under- and
)overeating that for the group averaged “‘27% above weight-
maintenance-energy requirements. Obesity was associated with
both overeating and the selection of a high-fat diet. Such
overeating resulted in an increase in carbohydrate oxidation,
related to the increase in carbohydrate intake, but a decrease in
fat oxidation. This combination of overeating and decreased fat
oxidation led to a more positive fat balance in the most obese
Little is known about the influence of ad libitum food intake
on the pathogenesis of obesity in the Pima, Papago, or other
populations. One likely reason is because accurate collection of
food intake data and interpretation of its relation to obesity are
difficult in free-living conditions. It is well established that
obese individuals have higher energy expenditures than do
normal-weight individuals (16, 18, 19), yet food intake studies
have failed to find higher energy intakes among obese individ-
uals (3-6, 20). The expected associations between reported
energy intake and body weight and obesity, however, may be
obscured by error in the use of imprecise proxies for estimating
food intake and body composition (21) or in systematic under-
reporting of intake by heavier individuals. Recent studies mea-
suning energy expenditure in free-living conditions (doubly
labeled water) simultaneously with estimation of food intake,
provide evidence that obese individuals underreport food in-
take to a greater extent than do nonobese individuals (22, 23).
Still, despite this evidence, some investigators continue to
question the role of overeating in the pathogenesis of obesity
(5, 24). In the present study, we measured food intake on a
metabolic ward to avoid the problems associated with recorded
or recalled food intake data. In the controlled setting of a
metabolic ward, our finding that energy intake was correlated
with both body weight and obesity supports the intuitive con-
cept that excess energy intake is required to induce and main-
tam obesity.
Despite the errors associated with the collection of food
intake data, a growing number of studies have found links
between obesity and fat intake. Epidemiologic reports from the
Energy metabolism, macronutrient intakes, oxidation, and balances on day 4 of the weight-maintenance period and day 5of the ad libitum periods’
Weight maintenance Ad libitum
Intake Oxidation Balance Intake Oxidation Balance
Energy(kJ/d) 7912± 1372 8569± 1443 -649±962 13949±42472 8832± 1753 5117±362323
Protein (kJ/d) 1632 ± 268 862 ± 247 770 ± 3353 1598 ± 556 787 ±351 787 ± 351
Fat (KJ/d) 2356 ± 397 3527 ± 1280 -1172 ± 1280’ 5707 ±18702 2515 ±12302 3197 ± 243923
Carbohydrate (kJ/d) 4029 ± 774 4117 ±916 88 ± 623 6720 ± 20922 5473 ± 15272 1247 ± 143523
I: ±SD.
2Significantly different from weight-maintenance period, P<0.0001.
3Balance significantly different from zero, P<0.01.
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Least Obese Most Obese
2000 o
-4000 (raO.51. P<O.O1)
-4000 0 4000 8000 12000
4000 o CHO
-4000 (rO.51, P<O.O1)
-4000 0 4000 8000 12000
S (r=..O.53, P<O.O1)
-4000 0 4000 8000 12000
Change In Energy or Macronutrlent Intake
(Ad Libltum -Weight Maintenance, kJ/d)
FIGURE 2. Changes in 24-h energy expenditure and carbohydrate
(CHO) and fat oxidation compared with the changes in energy, carbohy-
drate, and fat intakes from the weight maintenance to the ad libitum period.
The small increase in 24-h energy expenditure (upper panel) represents the
balance between the increase in carbohydrate oxidation (middle panel) and
the decrease in fat oxidation (lower panel). (After the exclusion of one
outlier, r=0.54, P<0.01 for the relationship between the change in fat
intake and the change in fat oxidation).
early 1970s suggest that the prevalence of obesity is higher in
populations with a diet rich in fat (25). Results from large-scale
and population-based studies show that obesity is characterized
by consumption of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet (3-8, 20).
Longitudinal studies have determined that a high fat intake
predicts weight gain in both men and women (26), particularly
women predisposed to obesity (27). Also, the sensory and
hedonic studies of Drewnowski et al (28) and Mela and Sac-
chetti (29) have demonstrated that obese individuals may have
a greater preference for dietary fat than do nonobese individ-
uals. In the present study, women of Pima or Papago heritage
selected a diet composed of 1 1 % protein, 40% fat, and 49%
carbohydrate, similar to the national average for women, which
is 16% protein, 37% fat, and 46% carbohydrate (30). Consis-
tent with previous findings, the most obese individuals selected
a diet richer in fat. Interestingly, our correlations between
macronutnient intake and obesity are stronger than those re-
ported in large-scale studies, possibly reflecting more precise
FIGURE 3. Protein, carbohydrate (CHO), and fat balances on day 5 of
ad lihitum intake for the lower (least obese) and upper (most obese) tertiles
of obesity (ii =9 in each group). Corresponding energy balances were
3690 ± 3217 in the least obese and 6673 ± 3920 kJ/d in the most obese
subjects (NS). Error bars are SD for macronutrient balance. 5Significantly
different from least obese subjects, P<0.05.
measurements of food intake on a metabolic ward; better
control of other interfering factors such as activity, alcohol
consumption, or smoking, or the genetic homogeneity of this
obesity-prone population. On the other hand, we recognize that
the artificial conditions of the study, ie, free food, restricted
habitual activity, and boredom may have influenced food in-
take in these women.
What are the possible mechanisms responsible for the role of
dietary fat in the pathogenesis of obesity? Clinical studies have
clearly shown that diets rich in fat induce hyperphagia (7, 31),
possibly because fat is more energy dense (32) and less satiating
than is carbohydrate (33). Because fats determine the texture,
flavor, and odor of many foods (34), it could be argued that
fat-rich foods are easy to overeat because of their hedonic appeal
and “mouthfeel”. Flatt has also proposed that high-fat diets pro-
mote hyperphagia to maintain carbohydrate balance (1). In this
study, obesity was associated with both overeating and the selec-
tion of a high-fat diet. Although we cannot imply cause and effect,
our analyses suggest that overeating by many of our volunteers
was primarily the result of selecting a high-fat diet.
Another explanation for the role of dietary fat in promoting
obesity may be related to differences in the metabolism of the
macronutnients (1, 19). It is fairly well established that although
the consumption of excess carbohydrate is met with increased
carbohydrate oxidation (12, 13), the consumption of excess fat
does not increase fat oxidation (35). According to Flatt’s stud-
ies in mice fed ad libitum, fat oxidation correlates with the
“gap” between total energy expenditure and energy ingested as
carbohydrate and protein (36). In our female volunteers, fat
oxidation correlated with the “gap” described by Flatt, provid-
ing further support for the hypothesis that fat oxidation depends
on the intakes of carbohydrate and protein, and total energy
expenditure (1, 35, 36). In agreement with our studies in white
(12) and Pima and Papago men (13), the relation between
changes in carbohydrate oxidation and changes in carbohydrate
intake support the close regulation of carbohydrate balance,
which is likely due to the limited storage capacity for carbo-
hydrate (1, 19). The negative relation between fat oxidation and
excess fat intake in the present study most likely reflects the
suppression of fat oxidation via the antilipolytic effect of an
insulin response to the carbohydrate load.
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Of further interest is the possibility that some individuals
may be more susceptible to obesity with the consumption of a
high-fat diet (2). In Swedish women, high-fat intake was as-
sociated with a 6-y increase in BMI only in women defined to
be genetically predisposed to obesity (27). In nondiabetic Pima
Indians, a low ratio of fat to carbohydrate oxidation, measured
under standardized dietary conditions, is associated with sub-
sequent weight gain (1 1). In whites, Thomas et al (31) found
that after 7 d of a high-fat diet, lean men and women were
better able to match fat oxidation to fat intake and were
therefore in less positive fat balance than were their obese
counterparts. In the present study, we found no evidence to
support that the most obese women were less able to stimulate
fat oxidation in response to fat intake than were the least obese
women. Although ad libitum fat balance was significantly
more positive among the more obese women, this was largely
due to higher fat intake. It is worth noting, however, that the
least obese group in our study was “fatter” than the women
studied by Thomas et al (37 ± 4% compared with 26 ± 1%
body fat) and that our experimental period was 2 d shorter (5
compared with 7 d). A cross-sectional study of a population
with a high prevalence of obesity, however, may not be ideal
for detecting defects in fat oxidation among individuals.
The findings in this study support the argument that body
weight gain occurs through a combination of overeating and
the selection of a high-fat diet. Our results, collected in a
controlled setting, agree with large-scale studies reporting a
link between obesity and dietary fat intake. The moderate
overeating induced by exposure to a variety of palatable foods,
particularly in more obese women, may be a consequence of a
high-fat diet. Such moderate overeating leads to increased
carbohydrate oxidation parallel with an increased carbohydrate
intake and suppression of fat oxidation, leading to fat deposi-
tion. These findings support the growing evidence that excess
dietary fat promotes obesity. LI
We thank John Graves, Emma Thin Elk, Ella Mae Enos, Tony Brown,
and Carson Mineer of the metabolic kitchen for their assistance in main-
taming the automated food-selection system. We thank Carol Massengill
and the nursing staff for their professional care of the volunteers. We thank
Tom Anderson for his help with the hydrostatic weighing. Most impor-
tantly. we thank the volunteers.
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... Existem evidências consideráveis de que dietas ricas em lipídios estão envolvidas no desenvolvimento da obesidade (Larson et al., 1995b;Shah & Garg, 1996, Gatenby et al., 1997Proserpi et al., 1997;Cooling & Blundell, 1998;Stubbs et al., 1998), por meio da promoção do baixo Quociente Respiratório (RQ) da dieta e estimulação do hiperconsumo de energia (Bolton-Smith, 1996;. ...
... Estudos metabólicos, em que o conteúdo de lipídios da dieta foi alterado, têm demonstrado relação com o gasto energético de 24 horas e a manutenção do peso corporal. O efeito da dieta rica em lipídios parece estar associado com a redução do gasto energético que acarreta a deposição de lipídios (Larson et al., 1995b;Roberts, 1995 (Cooling & Blundell, 1998). Outro estudo demonstra que a quantidade de alimentos consumidos por indivíduos com dietas ricas e pobres em lipídios é semelhante. ...
The factors involved in obesity genesis are not conclusive, including the function of diet macronutrients concerning susceptibility of weight gain. Carbohydrate can be considered an important component in satiety. Its substitution for sweeteners decreases the diet caloric value, consequently decreasing body mass. The effects of sweeteners on appetite rely on nature and density of the nutrients that are consumed simultaneously with sweeteners. There are no sufficient evidences showing that sweeteners cause weight gain, but the use of sweeteners may result on energetic compensation with lipid-rich foods. Lipids tend to increase diet energetic density promoting high passive consumption of energy, besides its low oxidative priority, which is associated with low satiety. Lipid substitution has been related to caloric ingestion compensation, mainly for carbohydrates. A disciplined dietetic plan should include foods that decrease diet energetic density without increasing food consumption.
... Based on pre-defined criteria for high reward foods, four researchers, blinded to subject and test-period, identified the high rewarding items from these receipts and pictures. These criteria were selected based on existing literature (Bolhuis, Costanzo, Newman, & Keast, 2016;Cabanac & Rabe, 1976;Hashim & Van Itallie, 1965;Johnson & Wardle, 2014;Larson, Tataranni, Ferraro, & Ravussin, 1995;Rising et al., 1992;Schulte, Avena, & Gearhardt, 2015;Zandstra & El-Deredy, 2011) and internal discussions and included high-energy density, high salt content, high sugar content, high-fat content, texture and mouth feel (e.g. crunch), caffeine, sweet taste and hyper palatability. ...
Lay summary: Human and animal studies have shown that chronic stress interfers with both homeostatic and hedonic appetite control. Here, we investigated the effect of chronic stress on food preferences and eating behavior in real life settings. In random order, fifty healthy students participated in two test periods of 4–5 days; a stressful period (one week prior to an examination) and a nonstressful period (four weeks after an examination). Food preferences were assessed by counting money spent on highly rewarding foods bought with gift certificates, and changes in eating behavior was further assessed by the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire. Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale, the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire, heart rate variability and Cortisol awakening response were used to evaluate the level of stress. Data on glycemic control, blood pressure, physical activity and sleep were also collected. Forty-four subjects had complete data on the primary outcome. Self-perceived stress was higher and recovery lower in the exam period (p ≤ .001). Subjects were less cognitively restrained (p = .037), less moderately-to-vigorously and lightly physically active (p ≤ .037) and were more sedentary (p = .009) in the examination period. However, no difference was found in money spent on high reward foods, disinhibition or hunger between the examination and control condition. Furthermore, no differences in the physiological markers of stress, glycemic measures and sleep were found. Data does not convincingly support the hypothesis that perceived stress increases the preference for highly palatable foods or leads to adverse effects on different markers of health. However, the stressor might have been to mild to induce obesogenic behaviors.
... In this regard, it has been demonstrated that lean individuals are better able to match fat oxidation to fat intake, with less positive fat balance, than obese individuals [26]. Moderate overeating leads to the suppression of fat oxidation in the obesity-prone population [27]. A 3-week HF diet leads to intrahepatic lipid accumulation and decreased metabolic flexibility in healthy overweight individuals [12]. ...
... In this regard, it has been demonstrated that lean individuals are better able to match fat oxidation to fat intake, with less positive fat balance, than obese individuals [26]. Moderate overeating leads to the suppression of fat oxidation in the obesity-prone population [27]. A 3-week HF diet leads to intrahepatic lipid accumulation and decreased metabolic flexibility in healthy overweight individuals [12]. ...
Full-text available
To date, the factors involved in the progression from simple liver steatosis to liver fibrosis have not been clarified. The postprandial phase after a high fat meal is pro-inflammatory and chronic low-grade inflammation is associated with the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of an oral fat load on fat oxidation in individuals with vs. without liver steatosis. Twelve adults without liver steatosis and seventeen with liver steatosis underwent an oral tolerance tests with 190 grams of a fresh cream (343 kcal/100 g, calories from fats 84%). Respiratory quotient and resting energy expenditure were evaluated using indirect calorimetry at 0, 90 and 120 minutes after load ingestion. In the subjects without liver steatosis, the fat load induced a reduction in the respiratory quotient (basal value=0.88 ± 0.07 vs. 90 min value=0.85 ± 0.06, p=0.020; and basal value=0.88 ± 0.07 120 min value=0.84 ± 0.06, p=0.001) with no change in resting energy expenditure. The liver steatosis led to a delayed switch to fat oxidation after the fat load (90 min value 0.88 ± 0.07 vs. 120 min value = 0.85 ± 0.06; p=0.032) with a significant reduction of the resting energy expenditure after 120 min (p=0.011). An impaired fat oxidation, suggesting a reduced metabolic flexibility, and reduced resting energy expenditure is demonstrated after a fat load in individuals with liver steatosis. These mechanisms may be involved in the progression from liver steatosis to fibrosis.
... Une expérience menée par l'équipe de Rolls a démontré qu'en faisant varier la densité énergétique d'une alimentation on induisait expérimentalement un apport énergétique plus important, quoique le poids de nourriture ingérée fût le même [15]. De même la surali-mentation énergétique spontanée, ad libitum (en présence d'aliments hyperlipidiques), ainsi que le pourcentage de calories lipidiques sont corrélés à la masse grasse corporelle [16]. Mais il s'agit de conditions expérimentales. ...
From a quantitative point of view the role of dietary fat in weight gain apparently seems clear, but its accountability in obesity pathogenesis, for individuals or population, is not definitively established. This concern may be divided in four sections. On a physiopathological point of view, experimental data show that fats are able to increase energy density and food intake and to increase lipogenesis. On an epidemiological point of view the data are more conflicting. An higher fat intake was associated to the obesity epidemic, its decrease did not stopped it, and that suggest the role of others lifestyle patterns including physical activity. On a clinical point of view the studies are far from a consensus, but it is true that they focuse on the role of familial, education and genetic factors. But really a fat excess can sensitive the effect of inactivity. Total energy intakes seem a main issue. The fat reduction is not sufficient to induce a weight loss or to prevent a weight gain. We must act on each component of energy balance. In insulin-resistant subjects the fat reduction without weight-loss does not seem favourable on cardiovascular risk. Finally the total fat intakes cannot be considered as the cause of obesity but they may participate to the weight gain in some conditions. Qualitative aspects, and therefore fatty acids, must be also considered.
... Since it lasts for at least 60 min (Hetherington et al ., 1989), this phenomenon may however contribute to early post-meal satiety. SSS must be taken into account in studies about satiation, since it was found to be responsible for the intake-enhancing effect of variety within a meal (Rolls et al ., 1984;Brondel et al ., 2009) and of a cafeteria-mimicking diet (Larson et al ., 1995a(Larson et al ., , 1995b. Therefore, the variety of foods provided should be relevant to the choices subjects would typically have made for this specifi c meal in their natural environment. ...
This chapter begins by discussing the arguments for quantifying satiation and satiety. It then analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the various methods used to this day in scientific research. For this, the subjective and objective tools for measuring meal size, microstructure of the meal, meal request and intermeal intervals are described. A multidimensional approach for assessing satiety is proposed with intensity, duration and intake as main variables. Finally, based on current literature, perspectives for improving the relevance of laboratory studies to everyday life are provided.
The lowest prevalence of obesity is found in individuals whose diet is high in sugar. Norma Crombie explains.
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Motivation and objective. Uttle information is available on the effects of added sugar (sucrose) consumption on body mass index (BMI) and nutrient intakes of South Africans following typical Western diets, high in fat, low in fibre, and often inadequate in micronutrients. This paper investigates these relationships in a sub-group of randomly selected white men (N =151) and women (N = 161) aged 15 -64 years, who participated in the VIGHOR project. Subjects and methods. Dietary intakes were assessed with a 24-hour recall method and converted to nutrients using the MRCs food composition tables. BMI was calculated (kg/m 2). The linear relationships of added sugar intake with BMI and macronutrients were estimated by using partial correlations, controlling for potential confounding factors such as age, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, energy intake and BMI (for macronutrients). Results. The results showed that added sugar intake was not associated with BMI, and negatively associated with fat and protein intake. In men, the associations between added sugar intake and most of the micronutrients took on inverse U-shaped curves. Except for vitamin D, however, the micronutrient intakes were still > 67% of the recommended dietary allowances. Women, probably because of their low energy intakes, were more prone to nutrient inadequacies with increased sugar intake, especially with regard to fibre, iron, magnesium, copper, thiamine and vitamin B 6 • Recommendation. It is suggested that the message regarding sugar consumption to this population and others moving towards 'westernised' diets should be that added sugars can be consumed in moderation. Women with low energy intakes should be cautious not to displace nutrient-and fibre-rich foods with sugary foods. s Aft A1ed J1998; 88: U12-12l7.
Those seeking to manage their bodyweight use a variety of strategies, but the most common approaches involve attempting to exercise more and/or consume fewer calories. A poor comprehension of the energy cost of exercise and the energy content of food may contribute to weight-gain and the poor success rate of exercise weight-loss interventions. To investigate individuals' ability to consciously match energy intake with energy expenditure after isocaloric exercise at moderate and high intensity. In a counterbalanced cross-over study design, 14 low- to moderately-active, lean individuals (7 male, 7 female; mean age 23±3 years; mean BMI 22.0±3.2 kg·m(-2)) completed both a moderate-intensity (60% VO2max, MOD) and a high-intensity (90% VO2max, HIGH) exercise bout on a treadmill, matched for energy expenditure, EE, (450 kcal). Participants were blinded to the intensity and duration of each bout. Thirty minutes post exercise, participants were presented with a buffet, where they were asked to consume food in an attempt to match energy intake with the energy expended during the exercise bout. This was termed the "matching task," providing a matching task energy intake value (EIMATCH). Upon finishing the matching task, a verbal estimate of energy expenditure (EST) was obtained before the participant was allowed to return to the buffet to consume any more food, if desired. This intake was covertly measured and added to EIMATCH to obtain an ad libitum intake value (EIAD LIB.). A significant condition x task interaction showed that, in MOD, EST was significantly lower than EE (298±156 kcal vs. 443±22 kcal, p=0.01). In the HIGH condition, EE, EIMATCH and EST were similar. In both conditions, participants tended to over-eat to a similar degree, relative to EST, with EIMATCH 20% and 22% greater than EST in MOD and HIGH respectively. Between-condition comparisons demonstrated that EIMATCH and EST were significantly lower in MOD, compared with HIGH (374±220 kcal vs. 530±248 kcal, p=0.002 and 298±156 kcal vs. 431±129 kcal, p=0.002 respectively). For both conditions, EIAD LIB was approximately 2-fold greater than EE. Participants exhibited a strong ability to estimate exercise energy expenditure after high-intensity exercise. Participants appeared to perceive moderate-intensity exercise to be less energetic than an isocaloric bout of high-intensity exercise. This may have implications for exercise recommendations for weight-loss strategies, especially when casual approaches to exercise and attempting to eat less are being implemented.
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Some obese subjects repeatedly fail to lose weight even though they report restricting their caloric intake to less than 1200 kcal per day. We studied two explanations for this apparent resistance to diet--low total energy expenditure and underreporting of caloric intake--in 224 consecutive obese subjects presenting for treatment. Group 1 consisted of nine women and one man with a history of diet resistance in whom we evaluated total energy expenditure and its main thermogenic components and actual energy intake for 14 days by indirect calorimetry and analysis of body composition. Group 2, subgroups of which served as controls in the various evaluations, consisted of 67 women and 13 men with no history of diet resistance. Total energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate in the subjects with diet resistance (group 1) were within 5 percent of the predicted values for body composition, and there was no significant difference between groups 1 and 2 in the thermic effects of food and exercise. Low energy expenditure was thus excluded as a mechanism of self-reported diet resistance. In contrast, the subjects in group 1 underreported their actual food intake by an average (+/- SD) of 47 +/- 16 percent and overreported their physical activity by 51 +/- 75 percent. Although the subjects in group 1 had no distinct psychopathologic characteristics, they perceived a genetic cause for their obesity, used thyroid medication at a high frequency, and described their eating behavior as relatively normal (all P < 0.05 as compared with group 2). The failure of some obese subjects to lose weight while eating a diet they report as low in calories is due to an energy intake substantially higher than reported and an overestimation of physical activity, not to an abnormality in thermogenesis.
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The current investigation is a longitudinal analysis of the relationship between dietary intake, physical activity, and body weight change in adult men (n = 142) and women (n = 152). Measures of dietary intake, physical activity, and cigarette and alcohol consumption were obtained for 3 y. Results indicated a different pattern of predictors of weight change for men vs women. For women a high dietary energy and fat intake as well as increases in total energy intake were related to higher weight gain and increases in work activity levels were related to decreased weight gain. For men weight gain was predicted by increases in dietary fat intake. Sex differences are discussed as a possible moderator variable in the energy balance equation.
Relationships between dietary variables and indicators of body fatness were examined in a cohort of 871 middle-aged men in Zutphen, The Netherlands. Men in the highest quartile of the sum of two skinfolds or the Quetelet index distribution consumed on average 300 to 400 kcal less than men in the lowest quartile. Univariate analyses showed that the lower intake of the men in the highest quartiles was occasioned by a lower intake of almost all the macronutrients except alcohol. Multivariate analyses confirmed the inverse relationship between energy intake per kg body weight and indicators for body fatness, and the positive relationship between alcohol and these indicators. It is concluded that obese middle-aged men have a lower energy intake but a higher alcohol intake than their lean counterparts.
This article compares the diets of 1,503 women 19–50 years of age reported in spring 1985 in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals with diets of women of the same ages reported in the Nationwide Food Consumption Survey, spring 1977. As in 1977, diets in 1985 failed to provide the recommended levels of several nutrients—calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B-6, and folacin. In women's diets reported in 1985, fat provided 37% of energy—down from 41% in diets reported in 1977. Conversely, carbohydrate provided 46% of energy in diets reported in 1985—up from 41% in 1977. Improved interviewing techniques and food composition data used in the 1985 survey may be responsible for some of the differences in nutrient intakes in the 1977 and 1985 surveys. Intakes of fatty acids, cholesterol, dietary fiber, and sodium were estimated in 1985 but not in 1977. This article presents cursory descriptive information about women's mean intakes of food and nutrients. In future studies statistical procedures will be used to identify socioeconomic and other factors associated with dietary adequacy in 1985 and with change since 1977.
Daily carbohydrate and fat oxidation rates were determined during 160 consecutive days in 10 female CDI mice. The animals had free access to a running wheel and to one of two synthetic diets whose composition resembled either lab chow or a mixed western diet. Carbohydrate oxidation was found to be correlated positively with daily variations in food intake, matching carbohydrate intake closely, regardless of the diets' macronutrient contents (R = .83 and .72, respectively). By contrast, fat oxidation was correlated negatively with daily variations in food intake on each diet, being inhibited by carbohydrate intake (R = − .65). Such results reflect the priority given in metabolic regulation to the maintenance of carbohydrate balance over the maintenance of fat balance, as well as over energy balance, which was linked very tightly to the latter (R = .91 and .95). Fat oxidation appeared to be determined by the gap between overall energy expenditure and the sum of carbohydrate plusprotein energy ingested (R = .9), rather than by the amounts of fat consumed. These findings thus illustrate fundamental differences in the control of carbohydrate and fat metabolism, which must be taken into account to understand body weight regulation and maintenance.
Taste responses of normal-weight, obese, and formerly obese individuals for sucrose and fat containing stimuli were examined using a mathematical modelling technique known as the Response Surface Method. The subjects accurately rated intensities of sweetness, fatness, and creaminess of 20 different mixtures of milk, cream, and sugar, and no mixture phenomena or inter-group differences were observed. In contrast, hedonic taste responses varied across subject groups, and were affected differentially by the sucrose and lipid content of the stimuli. Normal-weight subjects optimally preferred stimuli containing 20% lipid and less than 10% sucrose. Obese subjects preferred high-fat stimuli (>34% lipid) that contained less than 5% sucrose, while formerly obese subjects showed enhanced responsiveness to both sugar and fat. Hedonic responsiveness as measured by the optimal sugar/fat ratio was negatively correlated with the degree of overweight (body mass index: weight/height2). We hypothesize that sensory preferences for dietary sugars and fats are determined by body-weight status and may affect the patterns of food consumption.
It has generally been assumed that the body is 'energy blind' and calories from all three macronutrients contribute with the same value to energy balance. There is, however, accumulating evidence to suggest that during ad-libitum conditions energy balance is achieved by a separate regulation of carbohydrate, fat and protein balances. Regulation of carbohydrate balance has the highest priority in the hierarchy, which is appropriate because the limited glycogen stores are only capable of covering the carbohydrate oxidation for a few days. Due to the higher satiating power of carbohydrate and protein compared with fat, a reduction in the dietary fat/carbohydrate ratio produces a negative fat balance in normal subjects consuming the diet ad libitum, while an increase in dietary fat/carbohydrate ratio results in a positive fat balance and weight gain. Subjects with a genetically determined predisposition to obesity become obese when they are exposed to a particular range of environmental conditions. The available knowledge suggests that the genetic propensity to weight gain is caused by a susceptibility to dietary fat due to an impaired capacity to increase their lipid/carbohydrate oxidation when fed a high-fat/low-carbohydrate diet. This in turn promotes lipid storage, depletion of carbohydrate stores and increases appetite. By enlarging the fat stores, the accompanying insulin resistance and higher levels of circulating non-esterified fatty acids increase lipid oxidation until it is commensurate with the dietary fat intake. The development of obesity may therefore be viewed as a regulatory mechanism by which the impaired lipid oxidation rate is raised to match a high fat intake. However, by decreasing the dietary ratio of fat to carbohydrate, macronutrient balance may be achieved with a high energy expenditure and a normal body composition. The results support current dietary recommendations, but with less emphasis on carbohydrate source, and they are also applicable for the prevention and treatment of obesity.
This study examined the association between diet composition, particularly dietary fat intake, and body-fat percentage in 205 adult females. Subjects completed a written questionnaire regarding lifestyle factors, such as exercise participation and smoking, demographic data, and the diet section of the National Cancer Institute's Health Habits and History Questionnaire by Block. Skinfold-thickness measures were used to ascertain the body-fat percentage of each subject. Results showed that intake of dietary fat was related significantly with adiposity, without (F = 13.65, R2 = 0.063, P = 0.0003) and with (F = 8.74, R2 = 0.033, P = 0.0035) control for multiple potential confounding factors: age, total energy intake, total exercise time per week, years of regular physical activity, consumption of other macronutrients, and smoking. Unlike dietary fat intake, protein consumption and carbohydrate intake were not significant individual predictors of body-fat percentage when the potential confounding variables were controlled. The findings suggest that dietary fat intake may play a role in obesity beyond dietary energy content.