Collateral fattening: When a deficit in lean body mass drives overeating

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017 Feb;25(2):277-279. doi: 10.1002/oby.21734. Epub 2017 Jan 11.


In his last review entitled "Some Adventures in Body Composition," Gilbert Forbes reminded us that "lean body mass and body fat are in a sense companions." To what extent the lean body mass (or fat-free mass) component in this companionship impacts on energy intake is rarely a topic for discussion, amid a dominant adipocentric view of appetite control. Yet an analysis of the few human studies that have investigated the relationships between objectively measured food intake and body composition reveals a potentially important role for both an increase and a decrease in fat-free mass in the drive to eat. These studies are highlighted here, together with the implications of their findings for research directed as much toward the elucidation of peripheral signals and energy-sensing mechanisms that drive hunger and appetite, as toward understanding the mechanisms by which dieting and sedentariness predispose to fatness.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Appetite Regulation*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Eating
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hunger
  • Hyperphagia*
  • Male
  • Thinness*