Obesity—A Disease With Many Aetiologies Disguised in the Same Oversized Phenotype

Has the Overeating Theory Failed?

Peter Stenvinkel


Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2015;30(10):1656-1664. 

In This Article


As obesity seems to have different aetiologies disguised in a similar oversized phenotype, different treatment strategies are needed. The overeating hypothesis alone is not sufficient to explain the obesity epidemic. As overeating in many cases seems to be a secondary phenomenon due to metabolic dysfunction,[99] we should instead of focusing on the total energy content consider the specific qualitative metabolic effects of various nutrients. Dietary interventions that take into consideration the specific metabolic effects of nutrients may have a better chance to decrease weight than putting all focus on traditional hypocaloric diets in the treatment of obesity. Given the importance of brown adipose tissue in energy expenditure and recent evidence showing that microRNAs controls classical brown fat expansion to counteract obesity,[100] this may open for exciting novel treatment avenues.