Effects of aerobic exercise and obesity phenotype on abdominal fat reduction in response to weight loss

Int J Obes (Lond). 2005 Oct;29(10):1259-66. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803013.


Objective: To test the effects on abdominal fat reduction of adding aerobic exercise training to a diet program and obesity phenotype in response to weight loss.

Design: A prospective clinical trial with a 14-week weight-loss intervention design.

Setting and participants: In total, 209 overweight and obese women were assigned to four subgroups depending on type of treatment and the subject's obesity phenotype: diet alone (DA) with intra-abdominal fat (IF) obesity (> or =mean IF area), diet plus exercise (DE) with IF obesity, DA with abdominal subcutaneous fat (ASF) obesity (<mean IF area) and DE with ASF obesity. Abdominal fat areas were evaluated by CT scans, with values adjusted for selected variables.

Results: Values were adjusted for age, menopausal status and change in body weight and total fat mass. The IF reductions were significantly (P<0.0001) greater in subjects with IF obesity phenotype (-45.1 cm2) compared to the ASF obesity phenotype (-22.2 cm2). The ASF reductions were significantly (P<0.001) greater for subjects with ASF obesity (-74.5 cm2) compared to IF obesity (-55.5 cm2). For IF obesity, the IF reduction was significantly (P<0.01) greater in the DE group (-49.3 cm2) than in the DA group (-37.8 cm2).

Conclusion: These results suggest that for individuals with IF obesity, the efficacy on reducing IF of adding aerobic exercise training to a diet-alone weight-reduction program is more prominent (-49.3 cm2/-37.8 cm2=1.3 times) compared with DA. Moreover, abdominal fat reduction was found to be modified by obesity phenotype in response to weight loss.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Composition*
  • Diet, Reducing
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / anatomy & histology
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / physiology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Phenotype
  • Subcutaneous Fat, Abdominal / anatomy & histology
  • Subcutaneous Fat, Abdominal / physiology*
  • Weight Loss / physiology*