Food, Energy, and Obesity – Kevin Hall, NIH Physicist

>>So I’m Dr. Kevin Hall,
I’m at the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive,
and Kidney Disease here at the National Institutes
of Health. Okay. My favorite part of my job
is being able to come into work and work with a diverse
team of folks all focusing on an important problem. So.>>Hey guys!>>Hey!>>What are you guys up to?>>Just checking out some of
our results from the model.>>One of the unique features
about being at the NIH is that we can both do sort of more
basic research on, you know, for example, computational
modeling and then use that model to design new clinical
experiments which we can also conduct
or collaborate with folks at the clinical center to actually start our
model predictions, and basically improve
our understanding of the overall system.>>I’m a postdoctoral fellow and
I’m working with Dr. Kevin Hall and we’re working on an
obesity study looking at diet. As most people know, obesity’s
been on the rise and one of the questions is: what’s
the best way to lose weight? And our study is looking
at taking two nutrients: reduced carbohydrate versus reduced fat while
keeping the protein the same and seeing how it
affects the metabolism. Because people want to know what
kind of diet should they be on?>>Food availability,
per capita, in the U.S., has gone up by a thousand
calories a day per person since the 1970’s. Well, you only ate 250 of
those extra thousand calories. I think it’s a really
interesting question as why didn’t we eat more of
that extra thousand calories, in fact, we’ve wasted
the 750 calories. So, in fact, food waste has gone up by 50 percent
since the 170’s.>>So, essentially
what we’re trying to do is create a tool that’s
inexpensive and easy to use. So that all you have to do is
measure somebody’s body weight and then you can figure out how
much they change their energy intake by. So, what these plots are is sort
of the analysis of the results from our model and what we’re
doing is we’re comparing it to data from an actual
clinical study where we know exactly how
much these people were eating, so we can sort of validate
the model in that manner.>>We’re in the patient’s
room right now, in the metabolic unit, this is where they stay for
their two weeks. And this is a test of
resting energy expenditure. We measure the patient’s
breathing for about a 15 to
20 minute period. And what we do is we measure
the CO, ratio of CO2 production to oxygen consumption, and from
that, we can get an estimate of what they’re resting
energy expenditure is and we can also get
an estimate of the RQ, or the respiratory quotient, which will tell us what
macronutrients specifically they’re burning.>>I’ve learned a lot so far, just the two days
that I’ve been here.>>[Laughing] You got another
several days left, right?>>Right. Right. Just the two days that I’ve
been here I, I’ve learned a lot about my body and being
as though both sides of my family are heavy on
diabetes, they didn’t want, they wanted me to try to lose
weight to make it better for me and [pause] just to be
healthy so nothing will happen, because I have two little boys.