Body weight stability may imply active regulation towards a certain physiological condition, a body weight setpoint. This interpretation is ill at odds with the world-wide increase in overweight and obesity. Until now, a body weight setpoint has remained elusive and the setpoint theory did not provide practical clues for body weight reduction interventions. For this an alternative theoretical model is necessary, which is available as the settling point model. The settling point model postulates that there is little active regulation towards a predefined body weight, but that body weight settles based on the resultant of a number of contributors, represented by the individual’s genetic predisposition, in interaction with environmental and socioeconomic factors, such as diet and lifestyle. This review refines the settling point model and argues that by taking body weight regulation from a settling point perspective, the road will be opened to careful dissection of the various contributors to establishment of body weight and its regulation. This is both necessary and useful. Nutrigenomic technologies may help to delineate contributors to body weight settling. Understanding how and to which extent the different contributors influence body weight will allow the design of weight loss and weight maintenance interventions, which hopefully are more successful than those that are currently available.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited