Navigation Links
Weight Watchers vs. fitness centers
Date:7/2/2008

COLUMBIA, Mo. In the first study of its kind, using sophisticated methods to measure body composition, the nationally known commercial weight loss program, Weight Watchers, was compared to gym membership programs to find out which method wins in the game of good health. A University of Missouri researcher examined the real-life experiences of participants to determine which program helps people lose pounds, reduce body fat and gain health benefits. The answer is that both have pros and cons and that a combination of the two produces the best results.

Participants who attended Weight Watchers for 12 weeks lost an average of 5 percent of their body weight, or about nine pounds. However, Steve Ball, assistant professor of exercise physiology in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences, found that a large percentage of the lost weight was lean tissue and not fat.

"Participants' body fat percentage did not improve at all because they lost a much higher percentage than expected of lean tissue," said Ball, MU Extension state fitness specialist. "It is advantageous to keep lean tissue because it is correlated with higher metabolism. Losing lean tissue often slows metabolism. What your body is made of is more important than what you weigh."

The majority of other Weight Watcher studies had not considered body fat percentage change and only focused on body weight.

"This is one aspect of our study that makes it unique," Ball said. "We used a sophisticated measure of body composition the Bod Pod to look at what type of weight was lost: lean or fat."

In addition, Ball said the study was novel because Computer Tomography (CT scans) were used to investigate changes in abdominal fat, which is more predictive of cardiovascular disease. Although the fitness center group lost very little weight, they probably improved their health because they lost a significant amount of intraabdominal fat (fat around vital organs). These results imply that exercise may have positive influence on the metabolic syndrome despite the number on the scale, Ball concluded.

Ball also found that group support is very important. Most of the Weight Watchers participants stuck with the program during the duration of the study, while many of the fitness center participants quit.

"These results imply that overweight, sedentary women joining a fitness center with the intent of weight loss or body fat change will likely fail without support and without altering their diets," Ball said. "Nearly 50 percent of people who start an exercise program will quit within six months."

"This study attempted to discover what takes place in the real world when overweight women attempt to lose weight." Ball said. "I think the outcome of the study speaks volumes about the necessity for a multi-pronged approach in order to lose weight, body fat and gain health benefits. I hope that this will be the first in a series of studies investigating commercial weight-loss programs."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Faddis
Faddisj@missouri.edu
573-882-6217
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Mice stressed in simulated weightlessness show organ atrophy
2. Soft drinks alone do not affect childrens weight
3. Weight gain between first and second pregnancies associated with increased odds of male second child
4. New drug makes weight loss safer
5. Researchers find evidence linking stress caused by the Sept. 11 disaster with low birth weights
6. Exercise improves thinking, reduces diabetes risk in overweight children
7. Knocking out cell receptor may help block fat deposits in tissues, prevent weight gain
8. Lush or lightweight?
9. Weight loss -- not one size fits all
10. Body weight influenced by thousands of genes
11. Lipoic acid could reduce atherosclerosis, weight gain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2017)... ALBANY, New York , April 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... highly competitive, as its vendor landscape is marked by ... in the market is however held by five major ... and Safran. Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% ... majority of the leading companies in the global military ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing ... feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D Printing ... run alongside the expo portion of the event and ... demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing and ... manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... to their offering. ... eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during ... Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis ... and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2017)... 27, 2017  Kinexum, a distinguished resource for research, ... the appointment of Thomas C. Seoh as ... M.D., Kinexum founder, who becomes Executive Chairman and will ... clients. Thomas Seoh commented, "I ... mission and lead the firm,s remarkable team of life ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Baltimore bio tech firm, PathSensors, Inc., announced ... at the National Postal Forum 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland, May 21st through May ... to use and low cost threat detection solution for government and commercial mail ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... , ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... leading supplier of Common Lisp (CL) development tools, and market leader for ... includes key performance enhancements now available within the most effective system for developing ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 25, 2017 , ... Leaders of ... of Quorum, will be featured in multiple sessions at this week’s Association of ... emerging trends to best practices in clinical research. , "We are excited to present ...
Breaking Biology Technology: