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Obesity and Weight Management

High metabolism

10/10/2006

Question:

do overweight people have slow metabolism or faster metabolism?

Answer:

Thank you for your question.  Metabolic rate is impacted by unique characteristics such as age, obesity, body composition (muscle versus fat), recent weight changes, disease status, surgery, fever, stress, medications and physical activity.  There is no way to simply look at someone's weight and determine if their metabolism is slow or fast.

I would recommend calling an outpatient nutrition clinic and/or an academic weight loss center in your area to inquire about the availability of a metabolic rate measurement.   There are different devices that can provide this measurement, taking into account the above mentioned parameters.

You can also calculate resting metabolic rate using the Harris-Benedict equation.  This equation actually provides your BEE (basal energy estimate), but doesn't take into account all the characteristics that go into determining metabolic rate.

BEE (male) = 66.47 +(13.75 x weight in kg) + (5.0 x height in cm) - (6.76 x age in yrs)

BEE (female) = 655.10 + (9.56 x weight in kg) + (1.85 x height in cm) - (4.68 x age in yrs)

This equation is generally close to your calorie needs unless you are considerably above your normal weight.

 

 

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Response by:

Angela Blackstone, RD, LD
Staff Dietitian
Center for Wellness and Prevention
Clinical Instructor
School of Allied Medical Professionals
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University