Reduction of abdominal fat and chronic disease factors by lifestyle change in migrant Asian Indians older than 50 years

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16(4):671-6.


The objective of this study was to assess the impact of a group diet and physical activity intervention on body composition, blood lipid profile and insulin resistance in migrant Asian Indian volunteers. Total body and abdominal fat, waist girth, serum glucose, insulin and lipids were measured one month before and immediately prior to an intervention designed to encourage increased physical activity and improved diet. Measurements were repeated after a 5-month period of altered exercise and dietary habits. Over this period monthly group education sessions were held on diet and physical activity and the importance of lifestyle changes to reduce risk factors for chronic disease. Forty one (21M, 20F) volunteers (aged > 50 y) were recruited from Asian Indian community groups in urban Auckland, New Zealand. Body weight, total and percentage body fat, waist girth and abdominal fat decreased in men following the intervention (p < 0.006) while these changes were not statistically significant in women. In both men and women high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels increased and LDL and total cholesterol/HDL ratio decreased (p < 0.002) without changes in serum glucose, insulin and triglycerides. Reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure was associated with an increase in HDL cholesterol in women (r = 0.63, p = 0.003, r = 0.48, p = 0.03) but not in men (r = 0.09, p = 0.69, r = 0.04, p = 0.86). Over a five month period, an Asian Indian community group diet and physical activity intervention resulted in significant reductions in total and abdominal body fat and blood lipid risk factors but not in insulin sensitivity or resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Fat / metabolism*
  • Absorptiometry, Photon / methods
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Body Fat Distribution
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diet*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • India / ethnology
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Life Style*
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Obesity
  • Risk Factors
  • Waist-Hip Ratio
  • Weight Loss


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin