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The importance of Understanding Energy Balance

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Presenter: Blair SN

It is indisputable that obesity rates have been increasing in most countries

around the world over the past few decades. The causes of this epidemic

are complex and are not well understood. It is clear that persistent weight

gain over time is caused by individuals being in positive caloric balance,

consuming more calories than they burn on too many days. Therefore

the obesity epidemic is due to too many people being in positive caloric

balance, where their energy intake exceeds their energy expenditure.

Although positive energy balance can be caused by increases in intake,

decreases in expenditure, or a combination of the two; most of the

attention in the scientific and lay press focuses on the intake side of the

equation. This imbalance in attention to the energy expenditure side of

energy balance and a major focus on the intake side is unlikely to produce

policies, strategies, and tactics that will be effective in reducing the obesity

epidemic. This lecture will include information on both sides of the energy

balance equation and I will discuss current flawed strategies and make

suggestions for new directions.

CPD Points: 0.5

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