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Table 1 Selection of human overfeeding experiments

From: Energy expenditure during overfeeding

Reference Subjects Overfeeding period/setting Dietary intake* EE measurements Limited activity Mean weight gain Changes in EE** Costs of weight gain (MJ/kg)*** Adaptive thermogenesis?
Bouchard et al./Tremblay et al. [22, 30] 24 males (12 twin pairs) normal weight 84 d metabolic unit + 4.2 MJ/d 15% P, 35% F, 50% CHO RMR, DIT yes 8.1 ± 2.4 kg ΔRMR 0.69 ± 0.60 MJ/d 44 no
Dallosso and James [41] 8 males normal weight 7 d metabolic unit 150% base 50% F TEE, SMR, BMR low or high exercise 1.2 ± 0.5 kg ΔTEE 5.6% (low), 6.4% (high) 39 yes
Diaz et al. [4] 6 males normal/overweight 42 d metabolic unit 150% base 12% P, 42% F, 46% CHO ADMR, TEE, BMR no 7.6 ± 1.6 kg ΔBMR 0.9 ± 0.4, ΔDIT + AEE 0.9 ± 2.1 MJ/d 35 no
Forbes et al. [23] 2 males, 13 females normal weight 17–21 d metabolic unit total 79–159 MJ; 15% P, 45–50% F, 45–50% CHO BMR no 4.4 ± 0.6 kg ΔBMR 0.49 ± 0.46 MJ/d 28 no
Glick et al. [40] 8 females normal/overweight 5 d metabolic unit + 9.5 MJ/d 13% P, 38% F, 50% CHO O2-consump. during rest and exercise yes 1.8 ± 0.3 kg no 26 no
Horton et al. [14] 16 males normal weight/obese 14 d + 50% base entirely F or CHO TEE no 2.7 kg ΔTEE 0.9 (CHO) MJ/d CHO 90 F 100 no
Jebb et al. [24] 3 males normal weight 12 d respiration chamber 133% base 15% P, 35% F, 50% CHO TEE, BMR yes 2.9 kg ΔBMR 0.42 MJ/d ΔTEE 0.75 MJ/d   no
Joosen et al. [19] 14 females normal weight 14 d outpatients 150% base 7% P, 40% F, 53% CHO ADMR, BMR, PA no 1.5 ± 0.9 kg ΔBMR 0.38 ± 0.47 MJ/d 54 no
Lammert et al. [20] 20 males normal weight 21 d metabolic unit + 5 MJ/d high F or high CHO SMR pairs according to habitual PA 1.5 kg no CHO 87 F 64 no
Levine et al. [25] 12 males, 4 females normal weight 56 d outpatients + 4.2 MJ/d 20% P, 40% F, 40% CHO ADMR, BMR, DIT, NEAT, PA volitional exercise constant and low 4.7 ± 1.8 kg ΔBMR 0.33 ± 0.53 ΔDIT 0.58 ± 0.35, ΔNEAT 1.38 ± 1.08 MJ/d 50 yes
Norgan and Durnin [36] 6 males normal weight 42 d metabolic unit + 6.2 MJ/d 12% P, 33% F, 38% CHO, 7% alcohol resting and mobile activities sedentary (leisure) activities 6.0 ± 1.8 kg no 43 no
Pasquet et al. [26] 9 males normal weight 61–65 d 'Guru Walla' total 955 ± 252 MJ; 15% P, 15% F, 70% CHO ADMR, RMR, ppRMR, PA no 17 ± 4 kg ΔRMR 44 ± 10, ΔppRMR 26 ± 12, ΔPA -40 ± 21% 56 yes
Ravussin et al. [27] 5 males normal weight 9 d outpatients 160% base 15% P, 39% F, 46% CHO TEE, BMR, DIT, PA - 3.2 ± 0.3 kg ΔSMR 1.05, ΔBMR 0.62, ΔDIT 0.58 MJ/d 23 no
Roberts et al. [28] 7 males normal weight 21 d outpatients + 4.2 MJ/d 10% P, 40% F, 50% CHO, 0.2% alcohol ADMR, RMR, DIT, PA no 2.5 ± 3 kg ΔRMR 0.63 ± 0.20 MJ/d 36 no
Webb and Annis [21] 6 males, 6 females normal/overweight 30 d outpatients + 4.2 MJ/d high P+F, high CHO or average TEE yes 2.7 kg (average, CHO) 1.8 kg (P+F) ΔTEE 7.4% P+F 72 CHO 46 average 47 yes
Zed and James [29] 16 females normal weight/obese 6 d metabolic unit + 4.3 MJ/d entirely F TEE, SMR, BMR, DIT - 1 kg ΔBMR 9.4% (lean) 78 (normal weight only) yes
  1. ADMR = average daily metabolic rate, BMR = basal metabolic rate, DIT = dietary-induced thermogenesis, CHO = carbohydrate, F = fat, P = protein, NEAT = nonexercise activity thermogenesis (ADMR-BMR-DIT), PA = physical activity, ppRMR = prostprandial resting metabolic rate (RMR+DIT), RMR = resting metabolic rate, SMR = sleeping metabolic rate, TEE = total energy expenditure.
  2. * % macronutrient = energy percentage.
  3. ** statistically significant changes only.
  4. *** calculated as mean excess energy intake divided by mean body weight gain (note: see discussion)