PerspectiveHUMAN PHYSIOLOGY

Beyond Sloth--Physical Activity and Weight Gain

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Science  08 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5399, pp. 184-185
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5399.184

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Summary

Why do some individuals gain weight in response to overeating, whereas others do not? A study in this week's issue by Levine et al. , discussed in the Perspective by Ravussin and Danforth, suggests that differences in fat gain can be accounted for by the energy expended in nonvoluntary physical activities such as fidgeting and maintenance of posture, termed nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). The underlying mechanism that allows humans to activate NEAT in response to overeating will require further study.