The effects of a nutrition program with and without aerobic exercise on body weight and composition, plasma variables and nutrient intake in obese black women

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Virginia Tech


The effects of a multifaceted weight loss program on the body weight, body composition, plasma variables, and nutrient intakes of 50 obese black women were investigated. Subjects were between 20 and 51 years of age, with an average BMI of 34.5 (range = 23.6 - 57.3). Subjects attended nutrition education/behavior modification classes once per week for three months. Thirty-five of the women attended 80% or more of the classes (NU). Twenty-eight women attended 30% or more of the low-impact aerobic exercise classes that were offered three days per week, for six months. An average 2.2 kg weight loss was observed for the whole study group, as body fat fell, and lean body mass increased by 2.1% of total body weight. Slightly greater changes were observed in the group that exercised consistently, as well as those who regularly attended nutrition classes, but not in either of the groups which more sporadically attended exercise or nutrition classes. Significant reductions in plasma total cholesterol, HDL-Cholesterol, HDL₂-Cholesterol, and insulin were observed for the group of 50 subjects. Significant reductions in plasma TC occurred in both the SE (attended between 30 to 70% of exercise sessions) and SN ( < 80% attendance of nutrition classes) groups. Plasma LDL-Cholesterol followed the same pattern as plasma total cholesterol but there were no significant differences. Exercise appeared to mitigate decreases in plasma HDL-C. Significant reductions in total Kcal, including CHO, protein, fat (including saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fatty acids), dietary cholesterol, and sugar were noted for the study group. A weight-loss program which included diet, nutrition education, behavior modification, stress management and exercise was effective in producing favorable changes in body composition, plasma variables, and dietary components in obese black women over six months, with a high degree of variability in motivation and participation.