Home Diabetes and Endocrinology Hypocaloric Diet, Exercise Both Reduce Visceral Adiposity

Hypocaloric Diet, Exercise Both Reduce Visceral Adiposity

Diet linked to larger weight loss, while exercise linked to greater decrease in visceral adiposity

FRIDAY, June 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Both hypocaloric diet and exercise reduce visceral adiposity (VAT), with exercise tending to have a larger effect on reducing VAT, according to a review published online May 23 in Obesity Reviews.

Rebecca J.H.M. Verheggen, M.D., from the Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to examine the effects of exercise or diet on VAT. Data were included from 117 studies with 4,815 participants.

The researchers found that both exercise and diet caused VAT loss (P < 0.0001). Diet caused a larger weight loss when compared with training (P = 0.04). For exercise, there was a trend toward a larger VAT decrease (P = 0.08). There was a strong correlation for changes in weight and VAT after diet (R² = 0.737; P < 0.001), and a modest correlation after exercise (R² = 0.451; P < 0.001). Exercise correlated with a 6.1 percent decrease in VAT in the absence of weight loss; virtually no change was seen for diet (1.1 percent).

“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,” the authors write. “Finally, total body weight loss does not necessarily reflect changes in VAT and may represent a poor marker when evaluating benefits of lifestyle-interventions.”

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