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Fat distribution plays a role in weight loss success in patients at risk of diabetes
Date:8/24/2010

OAK BROOK, Ill. Why is it that some people lose weight and body fat when they exercise and eat less and others don't? German researchers say MRI and magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy can provide the answer and help predict who will benefit from lifestyle changes. Results of the study are published online and will appear in the November issue of the journal Radiology.

"You may have two individuals who weigh the same and have the same body mass index (BMI), but have very different levels of internal fat," said lead researcher and physicist Jrgen Machann, Dipl. Phys., from University Hospital Tbingen in Tbingen, Germany. "Abdominal and liver fat are the two most important factors in predicting whether a lifestyle intervention will be successful."

Machann and researchers performed MRI and MR spectroscopy on 243 individuals prior to and nine months after a lifestyle intervention. The intervention called for a weight loss of 5 percent, reducing fat intake to a maximum of 30 percent of total calories (including less than 10 percent in the form of saturated fat) and engaging in moderate physical activity such as walking at least three hours a week.

Each of the participants, which included 144 females (mean age 44.5 years) and 99 males (mean age 47.3), was considered at risk of developing type 2 diabetes as a result of obesity, measured by a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or greater or having an impaired glucose tolerance or a first-degree relative with the disease.

"Common methods, such as body impedance analysis, may determine that a body consists of 25 percent fat, but that does not tell you how the fat is distributed," Machann said. "BMI is a good measure for obesity but not necessarily a predictor for health risk, because not only the amount of fat, but also its distribution are essential. Only by looking inside the body can you establish the amount of visceral (abdominal) and liver fat."

MRI allowed researche
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Contact: Linda Brooks
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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