International study results reveal the ‘secret’ of being thin

‘An international team of scientists led by the University of Aberdeen and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have for the first time identified what separates heathy underweight people, also known as ‘super-lean’, from the rest of us.’

Basically - they eat less, need to exercise less and have a metabolism like a runaway train. Who would have guessed? Oh…wait…. I wish I could be paid for stating the obvious, oh, wait….


Thanks for sharing Phil, on the face of it, this paper looks like a waste of time, but it’s really not. This paper basically found out that there is something driving these people to eat less, if we can find out what that is, then we could use that to treat obesity with something like gene therapy.

One of the author’s of the study breaks down the study on Twitter here.


@Dan_Huel - you definitely frame and present the research abstract better than the authors :slight_smile: When I started reading the article, my initial thought was


This is fascinating. Thanks for the tweet thread Dan. Much more my level :brain: :joy: I wonder where the next piece of research will go, perhaps they will try and replicate this study in different populations or pay closer attention to their diets?

I love this quote. They’ve literally just done a study on 150 people and still so critical of their own research (in a good way!)

“Of course, there still could in theory be people with the eat whatever they want and burn it all off by high levels of exercise, it’s just none of the 150 people who volunteered to join our study showed that pattern.”


Thank you! Often press releases are produced by a separate team in the university so the authors have little say. It’s about catching headlines so you can lose all the good stuff if that’s your aim.

Yeah absolutely – marketing definitely dilutes the message

Original Research Paper title:
Higher than predicted resting energy expenditure and lower physical activity in healthy underweight Chinese adults

University article headline:
Can some people really eat what they like and not gain weight?

News feed aggregator pick up headline:
The secret to staying skinny is eating less…not exercising more

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