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Biology or Behavior: Which Is the Strongest Contributor to Weight Gain?


Byrne, NM and Hills, AP, Biology or Behavior: Which Is the Strongest Contributor to Weight Gain?, Current Obesity Reports, 2, (1) pp. 65-76. ISSN 2162-4968 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York

DOI: doi:10.1007/s13679-012-0040-9


Combating unhealthy weight gain is a major public health and clinical management issue. The extent of research into the etiology and pathophysiology of obesity has produced a wealth of evidence regarding the contributing factors. While aspects of the environment are ‘obesogenic’, weight gain is not inevitable for every individual. What then explains potentially unhealthy weight gain in individuals living within an environment where others remain lean? In this paper we explore the biological compensation that acts in response to a reduced energy intake by reducing energy needs, in order to defend against weight loss. We then examine the evidence that there is only a weak biological compensation to surplus energy supply, and that this allows behavior to drive weight gain. The extent to which biology impacts behavior is also considered.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Weight gain, Obesity, Determinants, Metabolism, Behavior Biology
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the health sciences
UTAS Author:Byrne, NM (Professor Nuala Byrne)
UTAS Author:Hills, AP (Professor Andrew Hills)
ID Code:109880
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2016-07-06
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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