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Mayo Clinic discovers a key to 'low metabolism' and major factor in obesity

tle, Halloween Milky Ways and all restaurant and home meals. Every meal had to be taken at the hospital, without exception.
  • A biomedical team at Mayo Clinic of approximately 150 people, ranging from endocrinologists, dieticians to specialists to conduct analyses with a mass spectrometer.
  • The periodic $1,000/person glass of water. This was a special metabolic test that required drinking treated water with tracers to monitor the person's metabolism as a way of providing researchers a measure of compliance that test subjects were eating only meals prepared for them by hospital staff.
  • A dedicated kitchen staff to cook 20,000 meals over the test period, starting at 5 a.m. each day --without skipping a beat, food group or strange hankering.
  • 150 million lines of data was downloaded from the data-loggers and analyzed.
  • Committed study participants to clean their plates -- and scrape them, too, with a rubber scraper -- so every calibrated calorie that was served was also consumed.
  • Custom-made, data-logging undergarments that all participants wore 24 hours a day, exchanging a new pair every morning at the hospital at breakfast. The bottoms look like bicycle shorts and the women's tops look like sports bras. The men's tops look like undershirts.
  • Jet fighter control panel motion sensing technology embedded in the special underwear to monitor every tilt and wiggle of the participants.
  • No swimming -- due to the potential water damage to the motion sensors.
  • No particular activity regime was endorsed or prescribed. Participants were told to go about their normal work, recreation, rest and romance routines.

    Says James Levine, M.D., the Mayo Clinic endocrinologist who led the study: "This was a massive team effort. It should be said that this collection of teams at this level of expertise don't appear anywhere else in the world."


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  • Contact: Bob Nellis
    newsbureau@mayo.edu
    507-284-5005
    Mayo Clinic
    27-Jan-2005


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