Comment 62318

By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted April 14, 2011 at 23:16:47

Regarding weight and food intake, I've discussed it before:

Note the hyperactive person example, it shows that a fidgety Phil burns off more calories than a dedicated runner, because they spend less time sitting but most of the day at slightly increased intensity (which seems like nothing to them). I've since learned from a study that even with equal time spend sitting and exercising, the person who is always up and down, never sitting for long periods will burn off more energy even though the total amount of exercise is identical to people who sit for longer periods at a time.

Beware of Oreos: Eating 1 Oreo cookie more than you need to every day = 60 Cal, so 1 D-unit (95 extra kg) is achieved after 39 years. So if energy burnt off does not change, starting at age 18 with one extra Oreo per day, a 70 kg man could become 165kg morbidly obese by age 57.

But it's not that simple. Some people will burn off that extra oreo more easily, maybe due to enhanced leptin activity.

Energy expenditure in response to the extra Oreo is also non linear and unpredictable. If you continue to do the same thing every day, as you get heavier it takes more work to move around. But past a certain point you just can't do it, slow down, get arthritis, drive more, use a scooter etc, and then you're drastically reducing energy expenditure.

Basically, thin people who eat a lot are constantly doing a lot of activity that they never consider as work, while heavy people who appear to eat normally either are eating more than they think (e.g. Oreo snacking really adds up!) and/or do less activity than they think, such as spending long periods inactive and perceiving any activity as more work than it is.

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