Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study finds diet plus exercise is more effective for weight loss than either method alone

15.04.2011
Randomized trial in overweight/obese postmenopausal women found those who combined a low-fat, low-calorie diet with regular aerobic exercise shed nearly 11 percent of their starting weight

Everyone knows that eating a low-fat, low-calorie diet and getting regular exercise helps shed pounds, but a new study led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has found that when it comes to losing weight and body fat, diet and exercise are most effective when done together as compared to either strategy alone.

The results of this randomized trial, led by Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Prevention Center and a member of the Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division, were published online April 14 in Obesity.

The majority of women in the study who both improved their diet and exercised regularly shed an average of nearly 11 percent of their starting weight, which exceeded the study's goal of a 10 percent or more reduction in body weight.

"We were surprised at how successful the women were," McTiernan said. "Even though this degree of weight loss may not bring an obese individual to a normal weight, losing even this modest amount of weight can bring health benefits such as a reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer."

The year-long intervention involved 439 overweight-to-obese, sedentary, postmenopausal Seattle-area women, ages 50 to 75, who were randomly assigned to one of four groups:

exercise only (goal: 45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise per day, five days a week, including three days at the Hutchison Center's exercise facility);

diet only (goal: 1,200 to 2,000 calories a day, depending on starting weight, and fewer than 30 percent of daily calories from fat);

exercise and diet (with the same goals as above); and

no intervention.

"Although numerous studies have examined the effect of lifestyle interventions on weight, few have focused on postmenopausal women, a group that experiences particularly high rates of overweight and obesity," McTiernan said.

At the end of the intervention, the researchers found that the women in the exercise-only group lost, on average, 2.4 percent of their starting weight (with a mean weight loss of 4.4 pounds) as compared to an average weight loss of 8.5 percent among women in the diet-only group (with a mean weight loss of 15.8 pounds). The greatest weight loss was achieved by women who both changed their diet and exercised regularly; these women shed an average of 10.8 percent of their starting weight (with a mean weight loss of 19.8 pounds). Two-thirds of the women in this group achieved the study goal of losing at least 10 percent of their starting weight.

Body-mass index (height-to-weight ratio), waist circumference and percentage of body fat were also significantly reduced among the three intervention groups. The women who were assigned to the nonintervention control group, who did not change their diet or activity level, on average lost less than a pound – a statistically insignificant decrease.

"This study shows that you get the biggest bang for your buck by combining a healthy weight-loss diet – which in this case meant reducing calories by cutting fat intake and boosting the consumption of low-calorie foods – with regular, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise," McTiernan said. "You don't need to be an athlete; walking, biking or gym cardio machines all work well. Start slowly and gradually increase to 45 minutes of activity a day, more if you are able."

In addition to promoting weight loss and preventing weight gain over time, regular exercise helps with balance, strength and fitness. "This helps older people keep active overall, which has been shown to prolong a healthy life," McTiernan said.

The study also found that the women who lost the most weight and body fat kept a food journal, writing down everything they ate and drank with the exception of water and no-calorie drinks. Other strategies associated with the most successful weight loss included preparing meals at home and eating out less often at restaurants. "Doing your own cooking gives you the most control over calories," McTiernan said.

The combined diet-plus-exercise arm of the study followed the current nutrition and physical activity recommendations by the National Institutes of Health Obesity Education Initiative Expert Panel. "Our clinical trial supports these recommendations," McTiernan said.

Despite the overwhelming evidence for the benefits of lifestyle-induced weight loss, there are still major barriers to implementing these programs, the authors wrote. To this end, McTiernan and colleagues are conducting ongoing follow up of these study participants to try to determine factors – both psychological and behavioral – that are associated with long-term weight-loss maintenance. "Identifying factors that help women not only lose weight but keep it off long term will help steer the development and implementation of obesity-treatment programs that have the greatest promise to impact public health," she said.

The National Cancer Institute funded the research, which also involved investigators from the University of Washington School of Medicine, the NCI Office of Cancer Survivorship, the University of British Columbia and Harvard Medical School.

Kristen Woodward | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fhcrc.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond

21.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>