It Really Is Harder For Some People to Lose Weight

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Martin Reinhardt, MD
Postdoctoral Fellow
PECRB, NIDDK, NIH
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. ReinhardtIt can be very difficult for some people with obesity to lose weight despite great efforts. There is an immense deal of individual variability in weight loss success. Beyond differences in diet adherence, it is not clear what causes this variability in weight loss.

Through a study conducted at our facilities at the National Institutes of Health in Phoenix, Arizona, we have now shown that individual differences in biology – more precisely, differences in the amount of energy bodies use during fasting – make it difficult for certain obese people to lose weight.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Reinhardt: It is important to know that all volunteers, regardless of metabolism, lost a significant amount of weight during the six-week calorie restriction period. Our study shows that weight loss is possible despite inherent biological differences.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Reinhardt: To define the metabolic characteristics of the study participants, we measured energy expenditure using a whole-room calorimeter. Only a handful of those calorimeters exist in research centers around the world. We are currently looking for other markers that may be more easily measured to identify people with varying metabolisms. Whether identification of these biological traits could be harnessed to prevent weight gain remains to be established.

Citation:

A Human Thrifty Phenotype Associated With Less Weight Loss During Caloric Restriction

Martin Reinhardt, Marie S. Thearle, Mostafa Ibrahim, Maximilian G. Hohenadel, Clifton Bogardus, Jonathan Krakoff, and Susanne B. Votruba

Diabetes published ahead of print May 11, 2015, doi:10.2337/db14-1881

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Martin Reinhardt, MD (2015). It Really Is Harder For Some People to Lose Weight