Researchers from the University of Birmingham are looking for obese people in the local area to take part in a study that will help to unravel the mysteries of metabolism.

Obese participants aged between 18 and 40 are needed to come into the University for two sessions, take a drink which contains glucose and protein, and then relax and watch a movie whilst measurements of expired air are recorded. Participants will be paid £10 expenses per visit.

The study will help final year students Debbie Tyler and Michelle Thornton from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences to discover whether the calories in higher protein-based meals are burnt more quickly by the body, something that has already been proven in lean people, but not in overweight and obese people.

Project supervisor Professor Anton Wagenmakers explains: “About 10-20% of our daily energy intake is used up after a meal without us having to move a muscle. Eating causes a signal from the brain to induce the uptake of fuels into the muscles. During this process a great deal of energy is simply expended as heat. This is known as diet-induced thermogenesis, or DIT.”

Student researcher Debbie Tyler continues: “DIT is greatly reduced in obese people and diabetics, meaning that they burn fewer calories, however research has shown that a high protein meal increases DIT in lean individuals, so we are looking to discover whether the same effect occurs in obese people.”

Those interested in taking part in the trials, which run from January to March, should be aged between 18 and 40 and significantly overweight, with a body mass index of more than 30. Contact Debbie Tyler on email: or by phone on 07973 941114, with your height and weight details available so your body mass index can be calculated.


Notes to Editors:

School of Sport and Exercise Sciences:

The University of Birmingham’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences is one of the leading research departments in the United Kingdom, receiving a top 6* rating for its research by the Higher Education Funding Council of England in the recent Research Assessment Exercise.

The school’s research activities focus on Behavioural Medicine, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiology in Exercise, Exercise Biochemistry, Human Movement and Sport Psychology.

For further information on school activities, visit:

Further information:

Rachel Robson – Head of News, University of Birmingham

tel: 0121 414 6681 / email: