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Exercise lowers body fat in female twins
Wednesday, March 31, 2004 11:10 am Email this article
Female twins who reported engaging in vigorous exercise had 12.3 pounds less body fat on average than their non-vigorously-exercising twin, however, only 1 pound less belly fat.
This according to a study from London, England involving 970 healthy female twins—241 monozygotic pairs, 228 dizygotic pairs, and 32 unknown—who on average were fifty-six-years-old and had a body mass index of twenty-four.
One hour of weekly moderate-intensity exercise accounted for a difference of 2.2 pounds of body fat, while two hours weekly accounted for a difference of 3.1 pounds of body fat.
Among women with an overweight twin, higher levels of physical activity were still associated with 8.7 pounds less body fat.
Seven percent of the women who participated in the study were underweight, 56 percent were of normal weight, 30 percent were overweight, and 7 percent were obese.
Physical activity was the strongest independent predictor of body fat—stronger than age, diet, smoking, hormone-replacement therapy, or socioeconomic status.
Samaras K; Kelly PJ; Chiano MN; Spector TD; Campbell LV. Genetic and environmental influences on total-body and central abdominal fat: the effect of physical activity in female twins [see comments]. Annals of Internal Medicine, 1999 Jun 1, 130(11):873-82.
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