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Obesity and the Body Weight Set Point Regulation

Call for Papers

Ample evidence indicates that we “autoregulate” our body weight around a set point, such that we do not need to count calories on a daily basis in order to maintain a constant body weight. Despite its validity, the body weight set point theory appears powerless in explaining the obesity epidemic in many parts of the world today - susceptible individuals exhibit an inability to resist the modern environmental pressure of caloric over-consumption and/or a more sedentary life style, resulting in steady weight gain and obesity. The problem is not that these individuals are unable to regulate their energy balance around a body weight set point; rather, it is suspected that the set points in these individuals are subject to change. It seems that their body weight set point is susceptible to upward drift contingent upon the persistent exposure to the very same environmental factors that are known to promote positive energy balance in the short-term. In the past two decades or so, we have learned a great deal about the physiological and molecular bases of body weight regulation. More recently, additional neuroendocrine mechanisms of the food reward system have become part of the increasingly complex system of body weight regulation. This reward system, which is driven by cues of liking and wanting, is distinct from the feedback mechanisms based on metabolic signals and related neuroendocrine circuits. Just as enlightening, bariatric surgeries, started on the simple concepts of caloric restriction or malabsorption, has proven to have long lasting effects on metabolism and energy balance. Interestingly, most post-surgical patients no longer have the cravings they previously had for certain high density foods or are as hungry as they used to be. What may be involved in resetting the body weight set point - gut hormones, the adipose tissue, dietary substances, gut flora, and/or other players?

We invite investigators to contribute research papers and review articles on this subject involving animal and/or human studies. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Food reward system in relation to body weight set point
  • Effects of bariatric surgeries on body weight set point
  • Relationship between bariatric surgeries and the metabolic and neuroendocrine circuits
  • Relationship between bariatric surgeries and the food reward system
  • Communications between gut hormones and the central energy regulatory system(s)
  • Adipose tissue and body weight regulation
  • Gut microbiota in relation to body weight set point
  • Food substances, composition, or calories that influence body weight set point
  • Interactions between the food reward and metabolic systems

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal’s Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at according to the following timetable:

Manuscript DueFriday, 15 November 2013
First Round of ReviewsFriday, 7 February 2014
Publication DateFriday, 4 April 2014

Lead Guest Editor

  • Yi-Hao Yu, Weight Loss and Diabetes Center, Greenwich Hospital, Yale-New Haven Health, Greenwich, CT 06830, USA

Guest Editors

  • Joseph R. Vasselli, Nutrition Obesity Research Center, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, Columbia University, New York, NY 10025, USA
  • Liping Zhao, Laboratory of Nutritional Systems Biology, Shanghai Center for Systems Biomedicine and SJTU-Perfect Joint Center for Microbiota and Health, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Minhang Campus, Shanghai 20040, China
  • Ralph Peterli, Department of Visceral Surgery St. Claraspital, Kleinriehenstrasse 30, 4016 Basel and University of Basel, Switzerland