While there are many mechanisms that may be involved in the regulation of body mass in humans and other animals, it is not so clear how much regulation is needed beyond the negative feedback effect of body mass itself. Here we model weight changes as a stochastic process, and show that it behaves approximately as an autoregressive process. Using published estimates of the energy cost of weight gain, the effect of weight on resting metabolic rate and the daily variation in intake and activity, we show that fluctuations in weight will be small. The effect of excess intake is also examined, and the assumptions and limitations of the model are discussed. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- energy intake
- energy expenditure