Visceral fat increases cardiovascular risk. Diet and exercise have beneficial effects on metabolic profile, but its early effects and relative weight of each factor on body composition have not been sufficiently studied in obese and overweighted people. We conducted a quasi-experimental study comparing metabolic and body composition parameters by bioimpedanciometry, to assess the value of a health programme in this population.
Methods: 509 overweighted or obese bank clerks from a Prevention Service were enrolled in a 6 months health programme, consisting of personalized diet and reinforcement by a Dietitian, and monitorized exercise program, together with antihypertensive or lipids treatment when necessary. Basal echocardiogram and ergometry were performed. Blood pressure,heart rate, anthropometric values, blood biochemistry, and parameters of body composition and Metabolic Age by Bioimpedanciometry were statistically compared before and after completing the follow-up.
Results: 190 (37.33%) completed the programme. Mean age was 44.6 y.o.,74.2% were male, and mean Body mass index (BMI) was 32.3 (27–49.5). Obesity and sedentarism were present in 68.4% and 57.9%. respectively. 13.5% were smokers,28.6% showed dyslipidemia, and only 1.1% diabetes.
A BMI percentage loss of 10.1% (-1.3–24.3%) was achieved after 6 months, improving metabolic parameters (LDLc 136.3 vs 120.4, HDLc 44.4 vs 50.1, Triglycerides 120.3 vs 89.3, Glycaemia 95.2 vs 88 mg/dl), estimated metabolic age (56.6 vs 50.2 years), body fat percentage (32.9 vs 28.7%), visceral fat (12.8 vs 10.2 kg), with a reduction in muscle mass (61.4 vs 58.7 kg) (p<0.001 for all).
By regression analysis, after adjustment, metabolic age improvement was explained by BMI percentage loss, triglycerides and HDLc increase. While BMI percentage loss predicted reduction in body fat percentage and visceral fat, exercise predicted only body fat percentage loss. Diet and lipid treatment were more important to explain the changes in metabolic profile.
Conclusions: A 6 month health program based on diet and exercise in obese and overweighted people improved weight, metabolic profile, estimated metabolic age and body composition. Diet and BMI loss were better predictors than exercise to achieve this effect. Abandonment rate was high.