The accumulation of visceral fat is independently associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to determine whether the loss of visceral adipose tissue area (VAT; computed tomography) is related to improvements in maximal O2 uptake (V̇o2 max) during a weight loss (250-350 kcal/day deficit) and walking (3 days/wk, 30-40 min) intervention. Forty obese [body fat 47 ± 1 (SE) %], sedentary (V̇o2 max 19 ± 1 ml.·kg-1.·min-1) postmenopausal women (age 62 ± 1 yr) participated in the study. The intervention resulted in significant declines in body weight (-8%), total fat mass (dualenergy X-ray absorptiometry; -17%), VAT (-17%), and subcutaneous adipose tissue area (-17%) with no change in lean body mass (all P < 0.001). Women with an average 10% increase in V̇o2 max reduced VAT by an average of 20%, whereas those who did not increase V̇o2 max decreased VAT by only 10%, despite comparable reductions in body fat, fat mass, and subcutaneous adipose tissue area. The decrease in VAT was independently related to the change in V̇o2 max (r2 = 0.22; P < 0.01) and fat mass (r2 = 0.08; P = 0.05). These data indicate that greater improvements in V̇o2 max with weight loss and walking are associated with greater reductions in visceral adiposity in obese postmenopausal women.
- Intra-abdominal fat
- Maximal oxygen uptake
- Postmenopausal women
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation