A dynamical model for describing behavioural interventions for weight loss and body composition change

J. Emeterio Navarro-Barrientos, Daniel Rivera, Linda M. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


We present a dynamical model incorporating both physiological and psychological factors that predict changes in body mass and composition during the course of a behavioural intervention for weight loss. The model consists of a three-compartment energy balance integrated with a mechanistic psychological model inspired by the Theory of Planned Behaviour. This describes how important variables in a behavioural intervention can influence healthy eating habits and increased physical activity over time. The novelty of the approach lies in representing the behavioural intervention as a dynamical system and the integration of the psychological and energy balance models. Two simulation scenarios are presented that illustrate how the model can improve the understanding of how changes in intervention components and participant differences affect outcomes. Consequently, the model can be used to inform behavioural scientists in the design of optimized interventions for weight loss and body composition change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-203
Number of pages21
JournalMathematical and Computer Modelling of Dynamical Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Behavioural interventions
  • Body composition
  • Dynamical systems
  • Energy balance
  • Obesity
  • Theory of planned behaviour
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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