• A model for the dynamics of human weight cycling

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      Permanent link:
      https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/jbsc/031/01/0129-0136

    • Keywords

       

      Model; oscillations; rhythms; weight cycling

    • Abstract

       

      The resolution to lose weight by cognitive restraint of nutritional intake often leads to repeated bouts of weight loss and regain, a phenomenon known as weight cycling or “yo-yo dieting”. A simple mathematical model for weight cycling is presented. The model is based on a feedback of psychological nature by which a subject decides to reduce dietary intake once a threshold weight is exceeded. The analysis of the model indicates that sustained oscillations in body weight occur in a parameter range bounded by critical values. Only outside this range can body weight reach a stable steady state. The model provides a theoretical framework that captures key facets of weight cycling and suggests ways to control the phenomenon. The view that weight cycling represents self-sustained oscillations has indeed specific implications. In dynamical terms, to bring weight cycling to an end, parameter values should change in such a way as to induce the transition of body weight from sustained oscillations around an unstable steady state to a stable steady state. Maintaining weight under a critical value should prevent weight cycling and allow body weight to stabilize below the oscillatory range.

    • Author Affiliations

       

      Albert Goldbeter1

      1. Unité de Chronobiologie théorique, Faculté des Sciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Campus Plaine, CP 231, Brussels - B-1050, Belgium
    • Dates

       
  • Journal of Biosciences | News

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