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Thrifty Metabolism

A genetically determined, energy efficient metabolism, requiring few calories for daily activities. In an environment of scarce food, such as found in prehistoric times, a thrifty metabolism allowed the storage of seasonally abundant food as body fat for use in times of food shortage. In a modern environment with a large surplus of calories, a thrifty metabolism contributes to the development of obesity.


Pertaining to anabolism.


pertaining to catabolism


Body processes that create more complex chemical compounds for energy storage or for the synthesis of tissue.


Body processes that break down complex chemical compounds for energy release or for tissue breakdown.

Adenosine Triphosphate

High energy balance chemical compound used in the body to transfer energy from nutrients to various life processes.

Basal Metabolism

Body processes involving involuntary activities only, such as breathing, heartbeat, and chemical reactions.

Thermic Effect of Food

Energy expended in digesting, absorbing, transporting, storing, metabolizing, and otherwise handling food. Amounts to about 10 percent of ingested calories.

Basal Metabolic Rate

rate at which basal metabolism occurs

Resting Energy Expenditure

The day's total energy expenditure through basal metabolism only.

Total Energy Expenditure

The sum of energy expenditure through REE, physical activity, and TEF.

Body Mass Index

A height-weight relationship used to assess obesity. Equal to weight in kilograms over height in meters squared.


The number of cases of a condition in a given population or the proportion of the population suffering from that condition.

Relative Risk

The increase in risk seen in a high risk group over that seen in the lowest risk group.

Hip to Waist ratio

a measure used to define android obesity. A value of greater than 1.1:1 is considered to indicate such.


A cessation of normal menstruation caused by inadequate estrogen levels resulting from excessively low body fat. Causes bone mineral loss leading to weakened bones.

Female Athlete Triad

The combination of low bone density, amenorrhea, and eating disorder sometimes seen in female athletes with very little body fat.


Tissue growth through an increase in cell number.


Tissue growth through an increase in cell size.


Of a pertaining to body weight; i.e bariatic surgery

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