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Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Dec;102(6):1332-8. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.115360. Epub 2015 Nov 11.

Low levels of physical activity are associated with dysregulation of energy intake and fat mass gain over 1 year.

Author information

1
Department of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA; rshook@iastate.edu.
2
School of Public Health, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV;
3
Departments of Exercise Science.
4
Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and South Carolina Statewide Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Arnold School of Public Health, and Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC;
5
Institute of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom;
6
Anschutz Health & Wellness Center, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO; and.
7
Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA.
8
Departments of Exercise Science, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous studies suggest that appetite may be dysregulated at low levels of activity, creating an energy imbalance that results in weight gain.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim was to examine the relation between energy intake, physical activity, appetite, and weight gain during a 1-y follow-up period in a large sample of adults.

DESIGN:

Participants included 421 individuals (mean ± SD age: 27.6 ± 3.8 y). Measurements included the following: energy intake with the use of interviewer-administered dietary recalls and calculated by using changes in body composition and energy expenditure, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) with the use of an arm-based monitor, body composition with the use of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and questionnaire-derived perceptions of dietary restraint, disinhibition, hunger, and control of eating. Participants were grouped at baseline into quintiles of MVPA (min/d) by sex. Measurements were repeated every 3 mo for 1 y.

RESULTS:

At baseline, an inverse relation existed between body weight and activity groups, with the least-active group (15.7 ± 9.9 min MVPA/d, 6062 ± 1778 steps/d) having the highest body weight (86.3 ± 13.2 kg) and the most-active group (174.5 ± 60.5 min MVPA/d, 10260 ± 3087 steps/d) having the lowest body weight (67.5 ± 11.0 kg). A positive relation was observed between calculated energy intake and activity group, except in the lowest quintile of activity. The lowest physical activity group reported higher levels of disinhibition (P = 0.07) and cravings for savory foods (P = 0.03) compared with the group with the highest level of physical activity. Over 1 y of follow-up, the lowest activity group gained the largest amount of fat mass (1.7 ± 0.3 kg) after adjustment for change in MVPA and baseline fat mass. The odds of gaining >3% of fat mass were between 1.8 and 3.8 times as high for individuals in the least-active group as for those in the middle activity group.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that low levels of physical activity are a risk factor for fat mass gain. In the current sample, a threshold for achieving energy balance occurred at an activity level corresponding to 7116 steps/d, an amount achievable by most adults. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01746186.

KEYWORDS:

energy balance; energy intake; obesity; physical activity; weight gain

PMID:
26561620
PMCID:
PMC4658461
DOI:
10.3945/ajcn.115.115360
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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