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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Apr;39(4):503-11. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2013-0270. Epub 2013 Dec 16.

Interrelationships between changes in anthropometric variables and computed tomography indices of abdominal fat distribution in response to a 1-year physical activity-healthy eating lifestyle modification program in abdominally obese men.

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  • 1a Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec, Pavilion Marguerite-D'Youville, 2725 chemin Ste-Foy, Québec QC G1V 4G5, Canada.


The objectives were to (i) measure the effects of a 1-year lifestyle modification program on body fat distribution/anthropometric variables; (ii) determine the interrelationships between changes in all these variables; and (iii) investigate whether there is a selective reduction in deep (DSAT) vs. superficial subcutaneous adipose tissue (SSAT) at the abdominal level following a 1-year lifestyle modification program. Anthropometric variables, body composition and abdominal and midthigh fat distribution were assessed at baseline and after 1 year in 109 sedentary, dyslipidemic and abdominally obese men. Reductions in anthropometric variables, skinfold thicknesses (except the trunk/extremity ratio) and fat mass as well as an increase in fat-free mass were observed after 1 year (p < 0.0001). Decreases in abdominal adipose tissue volumes were also noted (-23%, -26%, -18%, -19%, -17%, p < 0.0001 for total adipose tissue, visceral adipose tissue, subcutaneous adipose tissue, DSAT and SSAT, respectively). Adipose tissue areas at midthigh also decreased (-18%, -18%, -17%, p < 0.0001 for total, deep, and subcutaneous adipose tissue, respectively). A reduction (-9%, p < 0.0001) in low-attenuation muscle area and an increase (+1%, p < 0.05) in normal-attenuation muscle area were also observed. There was a positive relationship between changes in visceral adipose tissue and changes in DSAT (r = 0.65, p < 0.0001) or SSAT (r = 0.63, p < 0.0001). Although absolute changes in DSAT were greater than changes in SSAT, relative changes in both depots were similar, independent of changes in visceral adipose tissue. The 1-year lifestyle modification program therefore improved the body fat distribution pattern and midthigh muscle quality in abdominally obese men.

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