Objective: Define links between psychosocial parameters and metabolic variables in obese females before and after a low-calorie diet.
Method: Nine female obese patients (age 36.1 +/- 7.1 years, body mass index [BMI] > 30 kg/m2) were investigated before and after a 6-week low-calorie diet accompanied by behavior therapy. Blood lipids, insulin sensitivity (Bergman protocol), fat distribution (by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry [DEXA]), as well as psychological parameters such as depression, anger, anxiety, symptom load, and well-being, were assessed before and after the dieting period.
Results: The females lost 9.6 +/- 2.8 kg (p < .0001) of body weight, their BMI was reduced by 3.5 +/- 0.3 kg/m2 (p < .0001), and insulin sensitivity increased from 3.0 +/- 1.8 to 4.3 +/- 1.5 mg/kg (p = .05). Their abdominal fat content decreased from 22.3 +/- 5.5 to 18.9 +/- 4.5 kg (p < .0001). In parallel, psychological parameters such as irritability (p < .05) and cognitive control (p < .0001) increased, whereas feelings of hunger (p < .05), externality (p < .05), interpersonal sensitivity (p < .01), paranoid ideation (p < .05), psychoticism (p < .01), and global severity index (p < .01) decreased. Prospectively, differences in body fat (percent) were correlated to nervousness (p < .05). Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) differences were significantly correlated to sociability (p < .05) and inversely to emotional instability (p < .05), whereas emotional instability was inversely correlated to differences in insulin sensitivity (p < .01).
Discussion: Weight reduction may lead to better somatic risk factor control. Women with more nervousness and better sociability at the beginning of a diet period may lose more weight than others.