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Paul J. Arciero, Christopher L. Gentile, Roger Martin-Pressman, Michael J. Ormsbee, Meghan Everett, Lauren Zwicky, and Christine A. Steele

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.