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PUH 690 Energetics Course

Course Announcement

PUH 690  – Energetics: Scientific Foundations of Obesity and Other Health Aspects

Instructor:  Dr. David B. Allison (

Course Syllabus: Course_Syllabus_Energetics.pdf

Course Overview:  Energetics may be defined as the study of the causes, mechanisms, and consequences of the acquisition, storage, and utilization of metabolizable energy by biological organisms. Understanding these processes is critical to the understanding of ecology and evolution and has implications for public health.


Who Should Take the Course?
Science-based graduate students, Post-docs, faculty and staff interested in obesity and energetics.

What are the Prerequisites?
A Bachelor’s degree in a science field is required.

How do I register?
You must be a graduate student at UAB or apply as a non-degree seeking graduate student.  Current graduate students may directly register.  Non-degree seeking graduate students will need to register.

Is this a for-credit class?
Yes, this is a 3-credit hour Public Health course.

When and where will the class meet?
The class is offered during the Spring 2014 semester on Friday afternoons from 1:00-3:30 pm in Ryals Public Health Building room 125.

Course Calendar:
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Date Topic Readings Activities/
Due Dates
January 10, 2014
David B. Allison, PhD
Introduction & Overview of Energetics [PDF file] Optional Background Post-Lecture Readings   Nut Video
Nut Video
January 17, 2014
Tonia Schwartz, PhD & Michael Sandel, PhD
Energetics & Ecology
  1. Toward a Metabolic Theory of Ecology [doi:10.1890/03-9000]
  2. Early growth conditions, phenotypic development and environmental change [doi:10.1098/rstb.2007.0011]
January 24, 2014
Douglas Moellering, PhD
Overview of Energetics at a Molecular Level [PDF file]
  1. Mitochondria: In Sickness and in Health [doi:10.1016/j.cell.2012.02.035]
  Nut Video
Nut Video
Nut Video
Nut Video
January 31, 2014
Emily Dhurandhar, PhD
Regulation of Human Energy Intake [PDF file]
  1. Limits to sustained energy intake IX: a review of hypotheses [doi:10.1007/s00360-005-0013-3]
  Nut Video
Nut Video
February 7, 2014
Gordon Fisher, PhD, Barbara Gower, PhD & Timothy Nagy, PhD
Measurement of Energy Expenditure and Body Composition [PDF file 1] [PDF file 2]
  1. Regulation of Carbohydrate and Fat Metabolism During and After Exercise [doi:10.1146/]
  2. Measurement of Interscapular Brown Adipose Tissue of Mice in Differentially Housed Temperatures by Chemical-Shift–Encoded Water–Fat MRI [doi:10.1002/jmri.24138]
  3. Effects of Dietary Composition on Energy Expenditure During Weight-Loss Maintenance [doi:10.1001/jama.2012.6607]
  Nut Video
Nut Video
Nut Video
February 14, 2014
Ed Archer, PhD & James Shikany, DrPH
Measurement of Food Intake [PDF file 1] [PDF file 2]
  1. Validity of U.S. Nutritional Surveillance: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Caloric Energy Intake Data, 1971–2010 [doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076632]
  2. Validity of the Remote Food Photography Method (RFPM) for Estimating Energy and Nutrient Intake in Near Real-Time [doi:10.1038/oby.2011.344]
  Nut Video
Nut Video
February 21, 2014 Midterm Exam      
February 28, 2014
Kevin Fontaine, PhD
Expectancy & Design Issues in Obesity Research [PDF file]
  1. Mind Over Milkshakes: Mindsets, Not Just Nutrients, Determine Ghrelin Response [doi:10.1037/a0023467]
  2. Mind-Set Matters: Exercise and the Placebo Effect [doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01867.x]
March 7, 2014
Daniel Smith, PhD
Animal Models in the Study of Obesity
  1. Enerback Kozak Nature 1997.pdf
  2. UCP1 Ablation Induces Obesity and Abolishes Diet-Induced Thermogenesis in Mice Exempt from Thermal Stress by Living at Thermoneutrality [doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2008.12.014]
  3. Phenotyping small animals as models for the human metabolic syndrome: thermoneutrality matters [doi:10.1038/ijo.2010.240]
March 14, 2014
Kathryn Kaiser, PhD
Public Health Approaches to Obesity      
March 21, 2014
Gregory Pavela, PhD & Dwight Lewis, PhD
Sociological & Econometric Modeling
  1. Gender, body mass, and socioeconomic status: new evidence from the PSID [doi:10.1016/S0731-2199(06)17010-7]
  2. Estimating the Effects of Wages on Obesity [doi:10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181dbc867]
April 4, 2014
Diana Thomas, PhD
Mathematical Modeling Approaches to Obesity
  1. Dynamic Model Predicting Overweight, Obesity, and Extreme Obesity Prevalence Trends [doi:10.1002/oby.20520]
April 11, 2014
John Dawson, PhD
Statistical Considerations in the Study of Obesity [PDF file]
  1. Altman DG and Bland JM. Treatment allocation in controlled trials: Why randomize?
    BMJ 1999;318 doi: [doi:10.1136/bmj.318.7192.1209]
  2. Goodman S. A Dirty Dozen: Twelve P-Value Misconceptions
    Seminars in Hematology 2008-07-01 Vol 45 Issue 3 pp. 135-140
    Related comic:
    xkcd explains Frequentism vs. Bayesianism (and gets it half right)
  3. Andrew Gelman discusses 'researcher degrees of freedom'

    Related poster:
    Neural correlates of interspecies perspective taking in the post-mortem Atlantic Salmon
    Related comic:
    xkcd explains multiple comparisons non-adjustment and media reporting
  4. Video:
    The Lady Tasting Tea (2m 46s)
April 18, 2014 In-class writing and consultation time   Final Term Paper due 12:00 Midnight April 21