AccScience Publishing / GTM / Volume 2 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.36922/gtm.222
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Chronic positive mass balance is the actual etiology of obesity: A living review

Anssi H. Manninen*
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1 Research and Development, Dominus Nutrition Oy, Raahe, Finland
Global Translational Medicine 2023, 2(1), 222
Submitted: 14 October 2022 | Accepted: 26 January 2023 | Published: 1 March 2023
© 2023 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( )

The fundamental cause of obesity is widely assumed to be an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended (i.e., the energy balance theory). However, this century-old obesity paradigm is fallacious. According to known laws of physics, the actual etiology of obesity is chronic positive mass balance, not positive energy balance. Furthermore, the relevant physical law in body mass regulation is the Law of Conservation of Mass, not the Law of Conservation of Energy. It is important to understand that energy balance and mass balance are separate balances in the human body. Since calories simply represent the heat released on food oxidation, they have no impact on body mass. Body mass can only change as a result of net mass flow; thus, the only food property that can augment body mass is its nutrient mass, not its energy content. The recently proposed mass balance model describes the temporal evolution of body weight and body composition under a wide variety of feeding experiments, and it seems to provide a highly accurate description of the very best experimental human feeding data. By shifting to a mass balance paradigm of obesity, a deeper understanding of this condition may follow in the near future. The purpose of this living review is to present the core issues of the upcoming paradigm shift and some practical applications related to the subject.

Body weight regulation
Energy balance theory
Mass balance model
Paradigm shift
Living review

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Conflict of interest
The author declares no conflict of interest.
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Global Translational Medicine, Electronic ISSN: 2811-0021 Published by AccScience Publishing