The mass balance model of obesity explains the weight loss advantage of a low-carbohydrate diet over a isocaloric low-fat diet
Background & Aims There is an ongoing debate about the role of macronutrient distribution of the diet in weight management and the potential of its modification as an approach to treat obesity. Our aim was to shed light on this highly disputed topic. Methods This computational study utilized the recently proposed mass balance model (MBM) of obesity to simulate the effect of exchanging a high-carbohydrate diet (20% F, 65% C, 15% P; HCD) for an isocaloric very-low-carbohydrate diet (75% F, 10% C,
... diet (75% F, 10% C, 15% P; VLCD) on body weight in a 70kg person. Furthermore, we investigated whether this model can explain the weight loss associated with the onset of type 1 diabetes. Results Prior any feeding perturbation body weight was stable at ~70kg with a baseline diet of 2 000 kcal (day 0-149). Next this reference diet was exchange by a 2 000 kcal HCD (day 150-400), yet body weight gradually increases to ~73kg. Moreover, after beginning a second isocaloric VLCD (day 400), body weight decreases towards a steady value of ~67.5kg. In addition, it was demonstrated that the MBM can make predictions of body weight loss consistent with the type 1 diabetes treatment during the pre-insulin era. Conclusions The MBM of obesity explains the weight loss advantage of a low-carbohydrate diet over an isocaloric low-fat diet. In addition, this model explains the weight loss associated with the onset of type I diabetes.