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J Nutr Sci. 2014 Feb 13;3:e3. doi: 10.1017/jns.2013.38. eCollection 2014.

Lower resting and total energy expenditure in postmenopausal compared with premenopausal women matched for abdominal obesity.

Author information

1
Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism , Churchill Hospital , Oxford OX3 7LE , UK.
2
Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine , John Radcliffe Hospital , Oxford OX3 9DU , UK.
3
Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism , Churchill Hospital , Oxford OX3 7LE , UK ; Department of Experimental Physiology , Athens University School of Medicine , Greece.
4
Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism , Churchill Hospital , Oxford OX3 7LE , UK ; National Institute for Health Research, Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford University Hospital Trusts , Oxford OX3 7LJ , UK.
5
Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism , Churchill Hospital , Oxford OX3 7LE , UK ; Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences , University of Surrey , Guildford GU2 7WG , UK.

Abstract

The menopause is accompanied by increased risk of obesity, altered body fat distribution and decreased skeletal muscle mass. The resulting decrease in RMR should be accompanied by a compensatory change in energy balance to avoid weight gain. We aimed to investigate habitual energy intake and expenditure in pre- and postmenopausal women matched for abdominal obesity. We recruited fifty-one healthy Caucasian women, BMI > 18·5 and <35 kg/m(2), aged 35-45 years (premenopausal, n 26) and 55-65 years (postmenopausal, n 25). Energy intake was measured using 3 d diet diaries and dietary fat quality assessed using adipose tissue fatty acid biomarkers. RMR was measured using indirect calorimetry, and total energy expenditure (TEE) and activity energy expenditure using a combined accelerometer and heart rate monitor. Postmenopausal women had lower RMR and TEE and spent significantly less time undertaking moderate exercise than premenopausal women. Postmenopausal women had a tendency for a lower energy intake, and a similar macronutrient intake but a significantly lower adipose tissue n-6:n-3 ratio (24·6 (se 1·6) v. 37·7 (se 3·1); P < 0·001). The main lifestyle determinant of bone mineral density (which was significantly lower in postmenopausal women) was TEE for premenopausal women, and dietary n-6:n-3 ratio for postmenopausal women. The present results suggest that weight maintenance is achieved in the post- compared with premenopausal status through a combination of reduced energy intake and reduced TEE in a regimen that compromises micronutrient intake and has a negative impact on lean tissue mass. However, lower n-6:n-3 fatty acid intake in postmenopausal women is associated with greater bone mineral density.

KEYWORDS:

AEE, activity energy expenditure; AT, adipose tissue; BMD, bone mineral density; Body composition; Bone health; Diet; FSH, follicle-stimulating hormone; Fatty acids; MET, metabolic equivalent; TEE, total energy expenditure

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