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Unick, Jessica L.1; Jakicic, John M. FACSM1; Marcus, Bess H.2
1University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.
2The Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI.
Supported by the National Institutes of Health (HL64991)
Exercise is a key factor in optimizing long-term weight loss.
PURPOSE: To examine if individuals engaging in higher levels of exercise also adopt eating behaviors indicative of body weight control throughout a 24 month intervention period.
METHODS: 169 overweight and obese men and women (BMI=32.6+4.2 kg/m2; age=38.2+5.4 yrs) participated in a 24-month behavioral weight loss program. Participants were instructed to consume between 1200–1500 kcal/day, with exercise prescribed at 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. Eating behaviors were assessed using the Eating Behavior Inventory (EBI) questionnaire (O'Neil et al.), with physical activity assessed using the Paffenbarger Exercise Habits questionnaire (Paffenbarger et al.). Participants were grouped based on weekly physical activity energy expenditure at 6 and 24 months: <1500 kcal/week at 6 and 24 months (NON-ADOPT), >1500 kcal/week at 6 months and <1500 kcal/week at 24 months (NON-MAINTAIN), >1500 kcal/week at 6 and 24 months (MAINTAIN), and <1500 kcal/wk at 6 months and >1500 kcal/wk at 24 months (LATE ADOPT).
RESULTS: Physical activity at 6 months was significantly greater in MAINTAIN (3053+1194 kcal/wk) and NON-MAINTAIN (3332+2573 kcal/wk) compared to NON-ADOPT (739+422 kcal/wk) and LATE ADOPT (936+445 kcal/wk) (p<0.05). At 6 months, MAINTAIN reported more weight loss eating behaviors (EBI=93.7+9.8) than NON-ADOPT (EBI=86.7+12.8) (p<0.05), with no difference with NON-MAINTAIN (EBI=91.8+10.8) and LATE ADOPT (EBI=91.8+8.1). Physical activity was significantly higher at 24 months for MAINTAIN (2763+1230 kcal/wk) and LATE ADOPT (2296+650) compared to NON-ADOPT (629+439) and NON-MAINTAIN (699+469) (p<0.05). At 24 months, EBI was significantly higher (p<0.05) in MAINTAIN (85.0+11.3) and LATE ADOPT (82.7+11.6) compared to NON-ADOPT (76.7+11.6) and NON-MAINTAIN (77.0+10.8) (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: Overweight adults who achieve higher levels of physical activity during a weight loss intervention also report adoption of eating behaviors recommended to improve weight loss. However, failure to sustain physical activity reflects the failure to sustain recommended eating behaviors, which warrants further investigation.
©2007The American College of Sports Medicine
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