Does adaptive thermogenesis occur after weight loss in adults? A systematic review [Nunes et al., 2021] : AdvancedFitness

Does adaptive thermogenesis occur after weight loss in adults? A systematic review [Nunes et al., 2021] : AdvancedFitness


This paper was just discussed on the Stronger By Science podcast here. They cover some limitations of the paper, primarily the issue of using dichotomous analysis on continuous variables. From their discussion, you could interpret that the jury is still out on the prevalence of long-term adaption and that the topic is not as open-and-shut as the meta-analysis implies.

Abstract: Adaptive thermogenesis (AT) has been proposed to be a compensatory response that may resist weight loss (WL) and promote weight regain. This systematic review examined the existence of AT in adults after a period of negative energy balance (EB) with or without a weight stabilisation phase. Studies published until 15 May 2020 were identified from PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, MEDLINE, SCOPUS and Web of Science. Inclusion criteria included statistically significant WL, observational with follow-up or experimental studies, age > 18y, sample size ≥10 participants, intervention period ≥ 1week, published in English, objective measures of total daily energy expenditure (EE) (TDEE), resting EE (REE) and sleeping EE(SEE). The systematic review was registered at PROSPERO (2020 CRD42020165348). A total of thirty-three studies comprising 2528 participants were included. AT was observed in twenty-seven studies. Twenty-three studies showed significant values for AT for REE (82·8 %), four for TDEE (80·0 %) and two for SEE (100 %). A large heterogeneity in the methods used to quantify AT and between subjects and among studies regarding the magnitude of WL and/or of AT was reported. Well-designed studies reported lower or non-significant values for AT. These findings suggest that although WL may lead to AT in some of the EE components, these values may be small or non-statistically significant when higher-quality methodological designs are used. Furthermore, AT seems to be attenuated, or non-existent, after periods of weight stabilisation/neutral EB. More high-quality studies are warranted not only to disclose the existence of AT but also to understand its clinical implications on weight management outcomes.