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

Link between obesity and cancer is not widely recognized

November 17, 2017
A new study published in the Journal of Public Health has shown that the majority of people in the United Kingdom do not understand the connection between weight issues and cancer. Obesity is associated with thirteen types ...

Reversing negative effects of maternal obesity

November 8, 2017
A drug that increases energy metabolism may lead to a new approach to prevent obesity in children born to overweight mothers, UNSW Sydney researchers have found.

Serving water with school lunches could prevent child, adult obesity: study

November 7, 2017
Encouraging children to drink plain water with their school lunches could prevent more than half a million youths in the U.S. from becoming overweight or obese, and trim the medical costs and indirect societal costs associated ...

Why do some obese people have 'healthier' fat tissue than others?

November 1, 2017
One little understood paradox in the study of obesity is that overweight people who break down fat at a high rate are less healthy than peers who store their fat more effectively.

Engineered protein treatment found to reduce obesity in mice, rats and primates

October 19, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with pharmaceutical company Amgen Inc. report that an engineered version of a protein naturally found in the body caused test mice, rats and cynomolgus monkeys to lose weight. In their ...

Nearly 4 in 10 U.S. adults now obese (Update)

October 13, 2017
(HealthDay)—Almost forty percent adults in the United States are now obese, continuing an ever-expanding epidemic of obesity that's expected to lead to sicker Americans and higher health care costs.

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.