Current Diabetes Reports

, 19:93 | Cite as

Predictive Mathematical Models of Weight Loss

  • Diana M. ThomasEmail author
  • Michael Scioletti
  • Steven B. Heymsfield
Obesity (KM Gadde, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Obesity


Purpose of Review

Validated thermodynamic energy balance models that predict weight change are ever more in use today. Delivery of model predictions using web-based applets and/or smart phones has transformed these models into viable clinical tools. Here, we provide the general framework for thermodynamic energy balance model derivation and highlight differences between thermodynamic energy balance models using four representatives.

Recent Findings

Energy balance models have been used to successfully improve dietary adherence, estimate the magnitude of food waste, and predict dropout from clinical weight loss trials. They are also being used to generate hypotheses in nutrition experiments.


Applications of thermodynamic energy balance weight change prediction models range from clinical applications to modify behavior to deriving epidemiological conclusions. Novel future applications involve using these models to design experiments and provide support for treatment recommendations.


Thermodynamic energy balance models Weight change prediction 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Diana M. Thomas is the co-inventor of SmartLoss used in BodyKey. She does not receive any financial compensation for this invention.

Michael Scioletti and Steven B. Heymsfield declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana M. Thomas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael Scioletti
    • 1
  • Steven B. Heymsfield
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mathematical SciencesUnited States Military AcademyWest PointUSA
  2. 2.Pennington Biomedical Research CenterBaton RougeUSA

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