Math model predicts effects of diet, physical activity on childhood weight

Washington: Researchers have developed a mathematical model that is able to predict how weight and body fat in kids respond to adjustments in diet and physical activity.

This model evolved from one developed at the NIH in 2011 to predict weight change in adults.

This model considers kids` unique physiology, including changes in body composition as they grow.

Kevin Hall, Ph.D., a researcher at the NIH`s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the paper`s first author, said that creating an accurate model of energy balance in children was challenging, as they are still growing.

He asserted that their model, which takes growth into consideration, helps quantify realistic goals for weight management in children and adolescents.

The researchers analyzed data from children ages 5-18 years to create the model, and tested it by comparing predictions to actual changes in children as measured in clinical studies that were not used to build the model.

The model accurately simulated observed changes in body composition, energy expenditure, and weight.

The results have been published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.


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