Dale A. Schoeller


Emphasis Groups:
Biochemical & Molecular Nutrition
Human Nutrition

Principal Research Interest:
Energy metabolism and human obesity, body composition, and stable isotope techniques for macronutrient metabolism.

Research Summary:

Our research is focused on human obesity. We are investigating multiple aspects of the energy balance equation including body composition changes, interventions to change total energy expenditure using doubly labeled water, interventions that create small perturbations in energy and fat balance using a room calorimeter, dietary intake of sugar and several other foods using novel stable isotope methods, and the accuracy and precision of novel monitors for measurement of physical activity and dietary intake.

Our previous work has demonstrated that human obesity is not the simple result of low energy expenditure, but rather a complex interaction that results in a failure of the body to compensate for short periods of positive energy balance which accumulate over years and result in excessive weight gain. As a result of these findings, we have initiated a study of how moderate exercise may help enhance the acute hormonal response of the hunger and satiety system leading to better dietary compensation following brief periods of overeating.

We have also begun to key on dietary intake, particularly with respect to the influence of high intakes of caloric sweeteners. In the US, caloric sweeteners are largely sugar and high fructose corn syrup. These two simple carbohydrates have an unusually high 13C natural abundance and we initiated several studies that use isotope ratio mass spectrometry to measure isotopic differences at the natural abundance level for the purpose of assessing dietary intake of caloric sweeteners and other foods.

Finally, we joined forces with a group of collaborating investigators here at the University of Wisconsin who are concentrating research efforts on the prevention of pediatric obesity and diabetes. Efforts include community and school based interventions, dietary interventions, built environment assessments, as well as more basic studies. It is our hope that our combined efforts will help reverse the pediatric obesity trends in Wisconsin.

Representative Publications

Stratification of Fat-Free Mass Index Percentiles for Body Composition Based on National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III Bioelectric Impedance Data. Kudsk KA, Munoz-Del-Rio A, Busch RA, Kight CE, Schoeller DA. J Parenter Enteral Nutr. Epub, June, 2015.

Under-reporting of dietary energy intake in five populations of the African diaspora. Orcholski L, Luke A, Plange-Rhule J, Bovet P, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Dugas LR, Kettmann E, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Cooper RS, Schoeller DA. Br J Nutr. 113:464-72, 2015

Factors affecting fruit and vegetable school lunch waste in Wisconsin elementary schools participating in Farm to School programs. Bontrager Yoder AB, Foecke LL, Schoeller DA. Public Health Nutr. 18:2855-63, 2015.

Thomas DL, Martin CK, Redman LM, Heymsfield SB, Lettieri S, Levine JA, Bouchard C, Schoeller DA. The effect of dietary adherence on the body weight plateau: A mathematical model incorportating intermittent compliance with energy intake prescription. Am J Clin Nutr. 100:787-795, 2014.

Tasali E, Chapotot F, Wroblewski K, Schoeller D, The Effects of Extended Bedtimes on Sleep Duration and Food Desire in Overweight Young Adults: A Home-Based Intervention. Appetite. 80:220-224, 2014.

Breath carbon stable isotope ratios identify changes in energy balance and substrate utilization in humans. Whigham LD, Butz DE, Johnson LK, Schoeller DA, Abbott DH, Porter WP, Cook ME. Int J Obes (Lond). 38:1248-50, 2014

Luke A, Bovet P, Forrester TE, Lambert EV, Plange-Rhule J, Schoeller DA, Dugas LR, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Shoham D, Cooper RS, Brage S, Ekelund U, Steyn N. Protocol for the modeling the epidemiologic transition study: a longitudinal observational study of energy balance and change in body weight, diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk. BMC Public Health. 11:927, 2011.

Schoeller DA. The energy balance equation: looking back and looking forward are two very different views. Nutrition Rev. 2009; 67(5):249-54.

Cooper JA, Watras AC, Adams AK, Schoeller DA. Effects of dietary fatty acid composition on 24-hour energy expenditure and chronic disease risk factors in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009; 89:1350-6.