A G Dulloo, University of Fribourg, Fribourg,


J Jacquet, University of Geneva, Geneva,


© 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Throughout much of evolutionary history, the mammalian species have been faced with periodic food shortages, specific nutrient deficiencies, and, sometimes, food abundance. Within such a lifestyle of famine and feast, it is conceivable that adaptive mechanisms—operating through adjustments in energy expenditure and in management of the body's main energy-containing compartments (fat and protein)—have evolved to the extent that they constitute key control systems in the regulation of body weight and body composition. These control systems and how they operate to enable the human body to adapt to nutritional stresses and to achieve body weight homeostasis are the focus of this article.

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