Over two million Singaporeans – about 35% of the local population – are overweight. Assistant Professor Khoo Chin Meng from NUS Medicine's Department of Medicine and Senior Consultant in the Division of Endocrinology at the National University Hospital, shed light on why some find it difficult to lose weight while others stay skinny regardless of what they eat in an episode of the Channel NewsAsia series, “Why It Matters”
In the episode, Asst Prof Khoo conducted an indirect calorimetry to help one understand how the body responds to a meal by measuring one’s metabolic rate before and after the meal. The results showed differences between the metabolic flexibility between a lean and overweight person, with a lean person having higher metabolic flexibility.
Referencing the set point theory which supports the idea that there is a natural body weight range in which one’s body is programmed to function optimally, Asst Prof Khoo explained that the body’s regulatory function will always act to bring back one’s weight to a “set point” or range of body weight. He added that this is why many find it difficult to sustain their diet plans as they do not fully understand that the body will fight back the weight loss to return to this comfortable “set point” weight.
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