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Women lose 13 percent with diet and exercise
Monday, September 22, 2003 7:49 pm Email this article
Women who exercised at least 200 minutes per week lost 13.6 percent of their body weight according to a study from researchers at the University of Pittsburgh.
This is an average of about 30 minutes per day or more.
Women who exercised at least 150 minutes per week—an average of 21 minutes per day or more—lost 9.5 percent.
And finally, women who exercised less than 150 minutes per week lost the least with an average loss of 4.7 percent.
The women were randomly divided into one of four exercise groups.
The first group exercised an vigorous intensity and high duration. After one year they had lost an average of 19.6 pounds.
The second group exercised an moderate intensity and high duration. After one year they had lost the second most with an average loss of 18 pounds.
The third group exercised an moderate intensity and moderate duration. After one year they had lost the least with an average loss of 13.9 pounds.
The fourth group exercised an vigorous intensity and moderate duration. After one year they had lost an average of 15.4 pounds.
The average decrease in BMI was a little more than 3 units, from 32.6 to 29.8.
The difference in weight loss between the four groups was not statistically significant.
The two groups that exercised for a longer duration lost an average of about 10 percent of body weight compared to 8 percent for those that exercised for a moderate duration. However, the difference was not statistically significant.
It is also worth noting that exercising at a higher intensity did not increase weight loss. This is good to know for people who do not like to exercise in the first place.
As with most other weight loss studies maximum weight was acheived after six months, however there was significant weight regain during the next six months.
Meetings were held weekly for the first six months and every other week for the remaining six months. The women also received a phone call every other week which lasted about 10 minutes for the last six months of the study.
Subjects were instructed to exercise 5 days per week. Walking was encouraged the primary form of exercise.
Moderate duration was estimated to burn an additional 1000 calories per week whereas the long duration was estimated to burn an additional 2000 calories per week.
Subjects were instructed to determine exercise intensity by measuring heart rate and perceived exertion.
The study consisted of 196 sedentary obese women with an average age of 37-years-old and had a body mass index (BMI) of 32.6.
All women were instructed to follow a diet of 1200 to 1500 calories per day and reduce fat intake to 20 to 30 percent of calories. An anlysis found that the women reduced their calorie intake from about 2100 calories per day to a little under 1500 calories per day.
Exercise is a significant predictor of long-term weight loss but this study suggests that maintaining a reduced calorie diet is also be important.
Amazingly, 94 percent of the subjects completed the one-year study.
Jakicic J, Marcus B, Gallagher K, Napolitano M, Lang W. Effect of exercise duration and intensity on weight loss in overweight, sedentary women: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2003 Sep 10, 290(10):1323-30.
J. M. Jakicic
University of Pittsburgh
Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
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