Researchers seek predictors of exercise effectiveness for weight loss

June 25, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Most individuals trying to lose weight will increase physical activity as part of their strategy. For many, however, adding structured exercise does not result in weight loss, according to research. Offsetting the exercise with increases in eating and decreases in non-exercise physical activity appear to be significant factors limiting the effectiveness of exercise interventions.

University of Georgia College of Education researcher Michael Schmidt is leading a study to determine whether a number of psychological and eating behavior traits predict these compensatory behavior changes-information that could be used to help tailor and target weight management exercise interventions, according to Schmidt.

Schmidt, an assistant professor and graduate coordinator of the exercise science program in the college's department of kinesiology, is leading the multidisciplinary study, funded by a two-year federal grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Co-investigators include fellow associate professor of exercise science, Ellen Evans; James MacKillop, an associate professor in UGA's Franklin College of Arts and Sciences' department of psychology; and Stephen Rathbun, an associate professor in the College of Public Health's department of epidemiology and biostatistics.

While 150-250 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise is recommended for preventing weight gain and promoting modest , substantial individual variability has been observed in the effectiveness of structured exercise to achieve expected levels of weight loss due to responses that compensate for the increase in exercise.

For each individual, the type and magnitude of these compensatory responses will predict the effectiveness of exercise to prevent weight gain or promote weight loss and, ultimately, . Recent research has focused on the timing and magnitude of these changes in different population subgroups and across different intensities and durations of exercise. However, few studies have sought to identify the characteristics and traits that predict individual differences in the magnitude and direction of these compensatory behaviors.

The UGA study looks to: identify psychological predictors of compensatory changes in diet and non-exercise in response to initiating a structured exercise program; assess the relative importance of diet and activity changes in the total compensatory response; and evaluate the influence of baseline body composition on compensatory changes in energy intake and expenditure.

To meet these goals, a uniformity trial comprised of a series of four identical eight-week moderate-intensity walking interventions will be conducted in a community-based sample of 120 sedentary, premenopausal women. Psychological characteristics and traits known to be related to other health behaviors (such as smoking and substance abuse) will be assessed at baseline, and changes in energy intake and energy expenditure will be measured during the course of the intervention to determine compensation behaviors.

Multiple regression modeling will then be used to identify the psychological and physiological factors that explain substantial individual differences in compensatory behaviors among these women.

"The knowledge generated from this study will position the team to design a larger weight management intervention trial to explore the efficacy of a tailored approach that recognizes and attempts to manage identified psychological characteristics and traits among individuals differing in weight status," said Schmidt.

Explore further: Weight loss + exercise helps knees

Related Stories

Weight loss + exercise helps knees

November 16, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Weight loss combined with exercise reduces pain and improves mobility in people with knee osteoarthritis, according to research presented by Professor of Health and Exercise Science Steve Messier earlier ...

Physical activity reduces compensatory weight gain after liposuction

June 13, 2012
Abdominal liposuction triggers a compensatory increase in visceral fat, which is correlated with cardiovascular disease, but this effect can be counteracted by physical activity, according to a recent study in the Journal ...

Men and women respond differently to exercise advertisements

June 7, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- A new University of Michigan study finds that overweight men and women responded differently to advertisements about the benefits from exercise.

Fitness programs for minority adults lack cultural relevance, study finds

February 29, 2012
Many leading causes of death are linked to unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, including inadequate physical activity. Adults in minority populations have lower levels of physical activity and higher rates of preventable deaths, ...

Recommended for you

'Obesity paradox' not found when measuring new cases of cardiovascular disease

December 7, 2017
Although obesity is a well-known risk factor for getting cardiovascular disease, a controversial body of research suggests that obesity may actually be associated with improved survival among people who have cardiovascular ...

Harmful effects of being overweight underestimated

December 1, 2017
The harmful effects of being overweight have been underestimated, according to a new study that analysed body mass index (BMI), health and mortality data in around 60,000 parents and their children, to establish how obesity ...

More than half of US children will have obesity as adults if current trends continue

November 29, 2017
If current trends in child obesity continue, more than 57% of today's children in the U.S. will have obesity at age 35, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Exercise alone does not lead to weight loss in women—in the medium term

November 23, 2017
Knowing whether or not exercise causes people to lose weight is tricky. When people take up exercise, they often restrict their diet – consciously or unconsciously – and this can mask the effects of the exercise. In our ...

Mindfulness training shows promise for maintaining weight loss

November 23, 2017
Can mindfulness training help overweight people shed pounds and keep them off? McGill University researchers surveyed the growing body of studies investigating that question, and came away encouraged.

Shaming overweight kids only makes things worse

November 20, 2017
(HealthDay)—Overweight kids who are shamed or stigmatized are more likely to binge eat or isolate themselves than to make positive changes such as losing weight, a leading pediatricians' group says.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.