Effects of diet and exercise in 337 overweight/obese adults

Hippokratia. 2012; 16(1):46-50

Ch. Philippou, E. Andreou, N. Menelaou, Ph Hajigeorgiou, D. Papandreou


Background and Aims: The purpose of the study was to determine for the first time the effects of a weight loss diet with or without exercise on body fat levels and other anthropometrical characteristics in overweight and obese Cypriot adults.
Methods: Three hundred and thirty seven overweight and obese subjects were assigned randomly to either a diet only (DO) or diet and exercise group (DE) for an 18-week period. Both groups received an energy reduced diet of 1500 ±200 Kcal. Furthermore, the DE group received specific dietary and activity guidelines involving a moderate intensity activity level included any of the following 3 criteria of ACSM guidelines and behavior modification consultation. All data analyses were performed by using the SPSS(v. 16.5) and the level of statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.
Results: No significant differences were observed in both DO and DE groups during baseline period. During the intervention period weight, BMI and WC decreased significantly in DO group (p<0.001). In addition, body fat levels were found to be significantly reduced (p<0.001) in the DE group compared with the DO group. In multiple regression analysis Body fat levels were independently associated with weight (Beta: 0.569, 95%CI: 0.157-1.296, P<0.001) BMI (Beta: 0.295, 95%CI:0.088-1.214, P<0.01) and WC (Beta:0.206, 95%CI:0.095-0.954, P<0.001) after adjustment of age and gender.
Conclusions: Despite the reduced effects of diet alone on body weight, BMI and WC, combining a reduced diet with exercise improves also BF levels which may have important benefits on several diseases later in life.