Metabolism and Body Weight Focus of Workshop

Experts in nutrition and physiology join mathematicians to explore the value of mathematical model in understanding the dynamics of metabolism and body weight regulation.

With more than two-thirds of Americans considered overweight and more than one-third categorized as obese, understanding mechanisms behind weight gain, loss, and maintenance is a major national goal. Thirty-five researchers from around the world are gathered at NIMBioS this week to explore mathematical modeling of metabolism and body weight regulation. Models aid in understanding changes in body composition during weight loss or gain, the degree of individual adherence to a diet or exercise plan, and long‐term effects of changes in diet and exercise on an individual’s weight.  Mathematical models have also been applied to understand how metabolic rate varies among animal species and the contribution of reduced physical activity and increased food consumption to the current obesity epidemic. Mathematicians and experts in nutrition and physiology are exploring these themes in the workshop, which is co-organized by Kevin D. Hall (NIDDK, National Institutes of Health); Steven B. Heymsfield (Global Director, Scientific Affairs, Obesity, Merck & Co., Inc.); and Diana M. Thomas (Assoc. Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Montclair State Univ.).

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