Underlying the obesity epidemic, many experts would suggest, is an expanding excess of calories. The caloric equation posits that weight gain arises when there is an energy imbalance with an excess of calories consumed over those burned in metabolic and daily activity. The calories in, calories out (CICO) model is the most widely accepted theory of obesity.
But the model is inherently flawed, as it is based upon a unit of measure; the calorie (referred by scientists as a kiloCalorie) may be both inaccurate and variable. The development of the calorie as a unit of food energy dates back well over a century to the work of early scientists using a bomb calorimeter. The caloric value for various foods was determined by combusting the food in a chamber as an approximation for the energy released through human digestion and metabolism.
But even with later modifications to the measurement, the calorie is at best an estimate of the maximal energy available in food, which is then influenced by variables in human health and digestion. Indeed, the calorie in itself is an inadequate tool to predict weight gain. And for dieters still clinging to the caloric equation, there are other important factors that need to be considered.
While the calorie is the maximal potential energy in food, it is the actual amount of energy released to the body that predicts weight gain. The bioavailable energy can be best defined as the “measured potential energy in calories” adjusted for the energy consumed through digestion and the effects of both the host’s metabolism and that of the bacteria housed in the gut known collectively as the microbiome. Indeed, two important adjustments must be made to the conventional calorie to better reflect bioavailable food energy: the work factor (the work required to release food energy) and …read more
Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada