Predictive Mathematical Models of Weight Loss

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Mathematical Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 8-31-2019

Publication Title

Current Diabetes Reports

Document Type



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

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