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Int J Obes (Lond). 2011 May;35(5):700-13. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2010.190. Epub 2010 Sep 7.

Weight-loss diet alone or combined with resistance training induces different regional visceral fat changes in obese women.

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Department of Radiology, Clinic of San Miguel, Navarra, Spain.



Quantification of abdominal fat and its regional distribution has become increasingly important in assessing the cardiovascular risk.


To examine the effects of 16 weeks of a hypocaloric diet with a caloric restriction of 500 Kcal per day (WL) or the same dietary intervention plus resistance training (WL+RT) on regional variation of abdominal visceral (visceral adipose tissue (VAT)) and subcutaneous (subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT)) fat loss. Second, to identify the single-image that best represents total magnetic resonance imaging measurements of total VAT and SAT volume before and after WL or WL+RT intervention.


A total of 34 obese (body mass index: 30-40 kg m(-2)) women, aged 40-60 years, were randomized to three groups: a control group (C; n = 9), a diet group (WL; n = 12) and a diet plus resistance training group (WL+RT; n = 13) with the same caloric restriction as group WL and a 16-week supervised whole-body RT of two sessions per week.


WL+RT programs lead to significant changes in the location of highest mean VAT area from L3-L4 to L2-L3 discal level from pre- to post- intervention, whereas after WL the greatest relative VAT losses were located at L5-S1. Similar decreases in the SAT areas at all discal levels were observed after WL and WL+RT.


Different weight loss regimes may lead to different distribution of VAT. Sites located significantly above (cranial to) L4-L5 (that is, ∼ 5-6 cm above L4-L5 or at L2-L3 discal level) provided superior prediction of total abdominal VAT volume, whereas more caudal slices provide better prediction of subcutaneous fat, not only before but also after either WL or WL+RT.

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