First I want to say that I have learned so much since this forum began. Thanks to everyone for asking such good questions and to you Jeff for posting such detailed replies.
My question is do you know what percentage of calories from protein are burned during the storage process? I was just curious about this. Thanks
The estimate for protein is about the same as for carb.
However, the main issue with obesity and weight problems is not really the "conversion energy" but the overconsumption of calories, the abundance of inexpensive calorie dense foods in our society, and our low activity levels.
Many people do lose weight and keep the weight off and remain thin on high protein animal based diets. While it may not be the healthiest way to accomplish this, or to go through life, it can be done.
Trying to focus on the macronutrients and the differences in their thermic effect (the cost of digestion) and also their energy cost of storage, is really not the issue. The quote you are referring to is not actually correct. Obese people do consume more calories (not less) and this has been documented time and time again. The main problem is, they are more likely to under-report what they eat, and over report their amount of activity.
We should focus our diet on naturally ocurring carbohydrates, like fruits, veggies, starchy veggies, legumes, and intact whole grains, because they are they most nutrient dense foods and the lowest in calorie density, and not because of some minor difference in the energy cost of digestion or storage.
Jeff Novick, MS, RD