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Am J Clin Nutr. 1993 Jan;57(1):20-6.

Differential health benefits of weight loss in upper-body and lower-body obese women.

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Endocrine Research Unit, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905.

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  • Am J Clin Nutr 1993 Jun;57(6):953.


Upper-body obesity (UB Ob) is more strongly associated with adverse health consequences; however, few obesity-treatment studies have examined outcome according to body-fat distribution. To examine whether diet and formal- or informal-exercise instruction causes differential changes in health and lipid profiles, ten LB Ob and nine UB Ob premenopausal women received dietary intervention (2.1 MJ-deficit/d for 16 wk) and were randomly assigned to either formal- or informal-exercise instruction. Weight loss was similar between groups (approximately 8 kg), and no change occurred in lean body mass or basal metabolic rate. Baseline cholesterol and triglycerides were greater (P < 0.01) in UB Ob than LB Ob women and decreased more (P < 0.01) in response to treatment in UB Ob women. Formal exercise instruction increased high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (P < 0.05) especially in UB Ob women. Future studies on treatment of obesity should include consideration of regional fat distribution.

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