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A Critical Review on the Role of Food and Nutrition in the Energy Balance

Department of Medical Sciences, University of Turin, 10126 Turin, Italy
Dietetic and Clinical Nutrition Unit, S. Giovanni Battista Hospital, Città della Salute e della Scienza, 10126 Turin, Italy
Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Animal Sciences, University of Udine, 33100 Udine, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 1161;
Received: 14 February 2020 / Revised: 16 April 2020 / Accepted: 19 April 2020 / Published: 22 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Metabolism)
The mass media has increasingly frequently suggested to the general population that specific foods or nutritional schemes are able to affect both human metabolism and energy expenditure, thus facilitating weight loss. This critical review is aimed at assessing available evidence on the roles of nutrients, food and dietary regimens in energy intake and energy expenditure. We queried the National Library of Medicine, the Cochrane Library, Excerpta Medica dataBASEand the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature database, and a search strategy was performed by using database-specific subject headings and keywords. We found that available scientific evidence on these topics is scarce, and that the limited number of available studies often have poor methodological quality. Only a few foods show beneficial effects on metabolism and energy expenditure, as the human energy balance is complex and multifactorial. Finally, microbiota may interfere with the intake, use and expenditure of energy in the human body. Conclusive evidence is still lacking, and, at present, it is not possible to identify a food or a diet with a significant impact on human energy expenditure. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy expenditure; energy balance; obesity; fat burners energy expenditure; energy balance; obesity; fat burners
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bo, S.; Fadda, M.; Fedele, D.; Pellegrini, M.; Ghigo, E.; Pellegrini, N. A Critical Review on the Role of Food and Nutrition in the Energy Balance. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1161.

AMA Style

Bo S, Fadda M, Fedele D, Pellegrini M, Ghigo E, Pellegrini N. A Critical Review on the Role of Food and Nutrition in the Energy Balance. Nutrients. 2020; 12(4):1161.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bo, Simona, Maurizio Fadda, Debora Fedele, Marianna Pellegrini, Ezio Ghigo, and Nicoletta Pellegrini. 2020. "A Critical Review on the Role of Food and Nutrition in the Energy Balance" Nutrients 12, no. 4: 1161.

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