Effects of a fat-sugar supplemented diet, with and without exercise training, on body fat mass and selected cardiometabolic risk markers in overweight and obese, sedentary males

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The winter holiday period has been highlighted as a major risk period for weight gain due to excess caloric intake in the form of fat and sugar. Furthermore, diets high

The winter holiday period has been highlighted as a major risk period for weight gain due to excess caloric intake in the form of fat and sugar. Furthermore, diets high in fat and sugar have been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Exercise aids in the prevention of weight/fat gain, and prevents deleterious changes in cardiometabolic function. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of a fat-sugar supplemented diet, with and without two different exercise training protocols, on body composition, glycemic control and other markers of cardiovascular disease in an at-risk population of overweight and obese males. Twenty-seven, healthy overweight/obese (BMI >25 kg/m2) males were fed 2 donuts per day, 6 days/week, for four weeks, while maintaining their current diet. In addition, all subjects were randomized to one of the following conditions: sedentary control, 1,000 kcal/week moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) (50% of peak oxygen consumption), or 1,000 kcal/week high-intensity interval training (HIIT) (90-95% of peak heart rate). Supervised exercise training was performed 4 days/week on a cycle ergometer. Changes in body weight and composition, endothelial function, arterial stiffness, glycemic control, blood lipids and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) were assessed before and after the intervention. Body weight, lean mass and visceral fat increased significantly in HIIT (p<0.05) and were unchanged in MICT. There was a trend for a significant increase in body weight (p=0.07) and lean mass (p=0.11) in control. Glycemic control during the 2-h OGTT improved significantly in MICT and control, with no change in HIIT. Hepatic insulin resistance index (IRI) and 30-min insulin during the OGTT improved significantly after MICT and worsened following control (p=0.03), while HIIT was unchanged. CRF increased significantly in both HIIT and MICT, with no change in control (p<0.001). There were no significant changes in other markers of cardiovascular disease. The addition of a fat-sugar supplement (~14,500 kcal) over a 4-week period was not sufficient to induce deleterious changes in body composition and cardiometabolic health in overweight/obese young males. Exercise training did not afford overweight/obese males additional health benefits, with the exception of improvements in fitness and hepatic IRI.