Abstract for: Modeling the dynamics of human body growth and maintenance

Detailed individual level simulation models are needed for better policy analysis to combat the costly obesity trends. Current models largely focus on adulthood and do not capture variations across individuals. In this paper I develop a simple simulation model spanning the full life cycle of an individual that captures both weight changes and growth in height. The model is tested for consistency with growth charts, robustness under different energy intake scenarios, and consistency with other empirical sources including a previous model from the literature and the experience of a lost ocean traveler. The results suggest the model structure is capable of capturing the key trends in growth and weight dynamics, however better data sources are needed to estimate a few of the model parameters empirically.