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Watching those calories.

Why is it that one person can gain weight and another lose weight while both seem to be eating the same amount of food and getting comparable exercise? Although the question has plagued nutritionists for years, an answer may be in sight. A room-size calorie-meter, or calorimeter, is being completed at the center's Energy and Protein Nutrition Laboratory to study whether humans really differ in the efficiency with which they metabolize their food energy -- and, if so, why.

Some 80,000 thermocouples in the floor, walls and ceiling of the 8-by-9-by-10-foot room will measure heat radiated by volunteers who spend 48 hours or more at a time in the enclosed structure. As their energy intake (food) and expenditures (exercise) are monitored closely, the calorimeter will also analyze gases given off b the body -- including oxygen, carbon dioxide, argon, nitrogen, sulfur gases and water vapor -- for an indirect calculation of metabolism. The calorimeter, according to scientists at the center, is the first large-scale chamber in the United States to combine direct and indirect measurements of calorie expenditures. Moreover, says C.E. Bodwell, who heads the project and the energy lab, "It will provide the most complete gas measurement of any in the world."
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Title Annotation:room-sized calorimeter being built
Author:Raloff, Janet
Publication:Science News
Date:Nov 30, 1985
Words:202
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