Strength Training for Obesity Prevention

  • Schmitz, Kathryn (PI)
  • Pereira, Mark (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by investigator): Recent obesity prevalence increases
have made obesity prevention a clear and pressing public health issue. The
average US woman gains about 0.5 kg per year, 60 to 80 percent of which can be
assumed to be fat. Overweight women aged 25 to 44 have a higher prevalence of
significant weight gains (BMI increases of greater than 5 kg/m2) than men or
older or thinner women. Total and visceral abdominal fat gains are associated
with a variety of obesity co-morbidities, including insulin resistance,
hypertension, and dyslipidemia. The difficulty in successfully losing weight
and maintaining weight loss has resulted in recommendations from several expert
panels to advise overweight and mildly obese individuals free of co-morbidities
to avoid weight gains rather than to lose weight. Physical activity is observed
to decline with age while caloric intake remains stable or declines slightly.
There is strong observational evidence that physical activity could prevent or
attenuate age associated fat gains. This randomized, controlled behavioral
intervention trial will test the hypothesis that regular participation in a
twice weekly strength training program over 2 years, can prevent age associated
body fat increases (total and visceral abdominal fat) in 80 overweight to
mildly obese premenopausal women (BMI 25-3 5 kg/M2) between the ages of 25 and
44 years compared to a 'standard care' group (n=80). The overall aim of the
study is to prevent body fat gains and to reduce health risks associated with
obesity. Treatment effects will be assessed for insulin sensitivity, blood
pressure, blood lipids, muscle strength, and psychosocial predictors of
strength training adherence. The innovation of this approach rests in its
simplicity and the minimal time requirement for full participation (2 exercise
sessions weekly). A preliminary study of this innovative approach resulted in
88 percent exercise session attendance over 12 months and maintenance of
treatment effects on total body fat percentage to the end of pilot study
measurements (9 Months). This supports the feasibility and potential for long
term efficacy of the proposed intervention approach. The long-term implication
of success in this efficacy trial would be that this modest behavior change
could prevent the fat gains and associated co-morbidities commonly observed in
midlife women.
Effective start/end date3/15/022/28/07




Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.