Support

Support Options

Report a problem

 
You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Nutritional ecology of obesity: from humans to companion animals / About

Nutritional ecology of obesity: from humans to companion animals

By D. Raubenheimer, G. E. Machovsky-Capuska, A. K. Gosby, S. Simpson

View Resource (HTM)

Licensed under

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

We apply nutritional geometry, a framework for modelling the interactive effects of nutrients on animals, to help understand the role of modern environments in the obesity pandemic. Evidence suggests that humans regulate the intake of protein energy (PE) more strongly than non-protein energy (nPE), and consequently will over- and under-ingest nPE on diets with low or high PE, respectively. This pattern of macronutrient regulation has led to the protein leverage hypothesis, which proposes that the rise in obesity has been caused partly by a shift towards diets with reduced PE:nPE ratios relative to the set point for protein regulation. We discuss potential causes of this mismatch, including environmentally induced reductions in the protein density of the human diet and factors that might increase the regulatory set point for protein and hence exacerbate protein leverage. Economics - the high price of protein compared with fats and carbohydrates - is one factor that might contribute to the reduction of dietary protein concentrations. The possibility that rising atmospheric CO 2 levels could also play a role through reducing the PE:nPE ratios in plants and animals in the human food chain is discussed. Factors that reduce protein efficiency, for example by increasing the use of ingested amino acids in energy metabolism (hepatic gluconeogenesis), are highlighted as potential drivers of increased set points for protein regulation. We recommend that a similar approach is taken to understand the rise of obesity in other species, and identify some key gaps in the understanding of nutrient regulation in companion animals.

Publication Title British Journal of Nutrition
Volume 113
Issue s1
Pages S26-S39
ISBN/ISSN 0007-1145
DOI 10.1017/s0007114514002323
Language English
Author Address The Charles Perkins Centre and School of Biological Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.david.raubenheimer@sydney.edu.au
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Raubenheimer, D.; Machovsky-Capuska, G. E.; Gosby, A. K.; Simpson, S. (2018), "Nutritional ecology of obesity: from humans to companion animals," http://habricentral.org/resources/47585.

    BibTex | EndNote

Tags
  1. Amino acids
  2. Animals
  3. Carbohydrates
  4. Carbon dioxide
  5. Diets
  6. Ecology
  7. Economics
  8. Energy
  9. Fat
  10. Food science
  11. Human nutrition
  12. Humans
  13. Intake
  14. Malnutrition
  15. Mammals
  16. Men
  17. models
  18. nutrients
  19. Nutrition
  20. obesity
  21. Pets and companion animals
  22. physiology
  23. Plants
  24. Primates
  25. proteins
  26. ratios
  27. regulations
  28. therapeutics
  29. vertebrates
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed