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We investigated the effectiveness of two lifestyle modification programs of exercise training and nutritional intake (ad libitum) on improving body composition and disease risk in overweight/obese men and women. Sixty-three subjects were weight matched and assigned to one of three groups for a 12 wk intervention: 1) high-intensity resistance and cardiovascular training and a balanced diet (RC+BD, 40% CHO: 40% PRO; n = 27, 16 female/11 male, age = 42 ± 9 y); 2) moderate-intensity cardiovascular training and a traditional food guide pyramid diet (C+TD, CHO 50 to 55%; PRO 15 to 20%; FAT < 30%; n =19, 10 female/9 male, age = 43 ± 10 y); and 3) an inactive control group (C, n = 17, 5 female/12 male, age 43 ± 11 y). RC+BD resulted in more favorable changes (P < 0.01) in percent body fat (−15.8% vs. −6.9%) and abdominal fat (−15.6% vs. −7.5%) compared to C+TD and C. Total cholesterol (−13.8%), LDL-cholesterol (−20.8%), and systolic blood pressure (−5.7%) declined (P > 0.05) in RC+BD, whereas C+TD and C remained unchanged. Our results suggest that RC+BD may be more effective than C+TD and C in enhancing body composition and lowering cardiovascular risk in obese individuals.
The authors are with the Dept of Exercise Science Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.