Dietary intake, physical activity, and obesity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Aug;28(8):1026-32. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0802661.


Objective: To determine whether dietary intake and physical activity contribute to obesity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Design: Case-control study.

Subjects: A total of 84 cases and 79 neighborhood controls of similar age.

Measurements: Fasting insulin, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2), waist/hip ratio, Block Food Frequency Questionnaire, Paffenbarger Physical Activity Questionnaire.

Results: Although women with PCOS had a higher BMI than control women, an overall comparison of women with and without PCOS showed no significant difference in dietary intake. However, stratification by BMI revealed that lean women with PCOS reported significantly lower energy intake than lean women without PCOS.

Conclusion: Differences in dietary intake and physical activity alone are not sufficient to explain differences in weight between women with and without PCOS. Further research is necessary to determine the relative contributions of lifestyle factors and metabolism to obesity in PCOS.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Constitution
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Energy Intake*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Linear Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / metabolism


  • Insulin