Background and aims: This study examined if the weight loss and metabolic benefits of alternate day fasting (ADF) varies according to sex and menopausal status in adults with obesity.
Methods and results: This secondary analysis pooled the data of men and women (n = 75) who participated in three 12-week ADF studies (500 kcal fast day; alternated with an ad libitum intake feast day). Body weight decreased in premenopausal women (-4.6 ± 3.2%), postmenopausal women (-6.5 ± 3.2%) and men (-6.2 ± 4.4%) (main effect of time, P < 0.001), with no difference between groups (no group × time interaction). Energy intake on fast days was higher than prescribed in all groups (∼400-500 excess kcal consumed), with no differences between groups. Fat mass, lean mass, fasting insulin, and insulin resistance, and blood pressure decreased similarly in all groups (main effect of time, P < 0.05 for all comparisons). LDL cholesterol decreased more in postmenopausal versus premenopausal women (group × time interaction, P = 0.01). Fasting glucose, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides remained unchanged in all groups.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that the weight loss and metabolic benefits of ADF do not generally vary according to sex or menopausal status in adults with obesity.
Keywords: Intermittent fasting; Menopausal status; Metabolic disease; Obesity; Sex differences; Weight loss.
Copyright © 2020 The Italian Diabetes Society, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition and the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.