U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Document Type


Date of this Version



Mass Spectrometry Reviews, 2005, 24, 311– 327

DOI 10.1002/mas.20021


This article is a U.S. government work, and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


Obesity is recognized as a major public health problem. Obesity is a multifactorial disease and is often associated with a wide range of comorbidities including hypertension, non-insulin dependent (Type II) diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease, all of which contribute to morbidity and mortality. This review deals with stable isotope mass spectrometric methods and the application of stable isotopes to metabolic studies of obesity. Body composition and total energy expenditure (TEE) can be measured by mass spectrometry using stable isotope labeled water, and the metabolism of protein, lipid, and carbohydrate can be measured using appropriate labeled tracer molecules.