A systematic review and meta-analysis on the effects of exercise training versus hypocaloric diet: distinct effects on body weight and visceral adipose tissue

R.J.H.M. Verheggen, M.F.H. Maessen, Daniel J. Green, A.R.M.M. Hermus, M.T.E. Hopman, D.H.T. Thijssen

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    83 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    © 2016 World ObesityExercise training (‘exercise’) and hypocaloric diet (‘diet’) are frequently prescribed for weight loss in obesity. Whilst body weight changes are commonly used to evaluate lifestyle interventions, visceral adiposity (VAT) is a more relevant and stronger predictor for morbidity and mortality. A meta-analysis was performed to assess the effects of exercise or diet on VAT (quantified by radiographic imaging). Relevant databases were searched through May 2014. One hundred seventeen studies (n = 4,815) were included. We found that both exercise and diet cause VAT loss (P <0.0001). When comparing diet versus training, diet caused a larger weight loss (P = 0.04). In contrast, a trend was observed towards a larger VAT decrease in exercise (P = 0.08). Changes in weight and VAT showed a strong correlation after diet (R2 = 0.737, P <0.001), and a modest correlation after exercise (R2 = 0.451, P <0.001). In the absence of weight loss, exercise is related to 6.1% decrease in VAT, whilst diet showed virtually no change (1.1%). In conclusion, both exercise and diet reduce VAT. Despite a larger effect of diet on total body weight loss, exercise tends to have superior effects in reducing VAT. Finally, total body weight loss does not necessarily reflect changes in VAT and may represent a poor marker when evaluating benefits of lifestyle-interventions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)664-690
    Number of pages27
    JournalObesity Reviews
    Volume17
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic review and meta-analysis on the effects of exercise training versus hypocaloric diet: distinct effects on body weight and visceral adipose tissue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this