Sally Ezzat; Ashraf Wahdan, Alexandria University, Egypt
Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of short term interventions on body weight and fat of obese adult females. More specifically the aim was to evaluate the synergistic effect between the consumption of a low caloric diet and either physical activity, weight lowering medication or nutrition education on the rate of losing body weight and fat.
Design/Methodology: The subjects of this study (n = 260) were overweight (BMI >25 kg/m2) and obese (BMI 30 kg/m2 or more) adult females who were assigned to Four (4) different interventions including dieting only or in addition to physical exercise, intake of Orlistat or a nutrition education program. Body weight, height, Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference and percent body fat were assessed at the beginning of the trial and every two weeks for a period of six weeks. Energy and nutrients intake were assessed during the second visit using a 24 hr recall method.
Findings: Several factors affected the females’ choice of the intervention program. Young females less than 30 years with lower BMI preferred physical exercise, older females with the highest BMI selected intake of weight loss medication in addition to dieting. The mean daily caloric intake was least by the physical exercise and education groups. Females from the last two groups achieved the highest loss in body weight, 8.4% and 6.84%, respectively. The least body weight loss was recorded in the diet and medication group (5.2%). The change in the BMI and waist circumference followed a similar pattern. The initial body fat percent was highest among the group who selected the diet and medication regimen (42.26%). However they achieved the least loss in body fat percent (5.01%). The highest reduction in the body fat percent was recorded in the groups that followed a low calorie diet with either nutrition education or physical exercise program.
Originality/Value: This study presents for the first time a comparison of the effectiveness of four intervention measures on the body weight and fat of obese adult females and the factors affecting the females, selection of the intervention method. The results confirm that following a low calorie diet could be effective in achieving a mild reduction in body weight and fat of obese adult females. The best results were achieved when dieting was accompanied with either nutrition education or exercise. Intake of medication that inhibits fat absorption had no synergestic effect when taken with a low fat diet. The results stress the importance of behaviour modification through nutrition education of the obese patients which may guarantee the sustainability of the reduction in body weight and fat.
Keywords: obesity; females; education; dieting; weight; body fat; medication.
Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Ezzat, S. and Wahdan, A. (2016) ‘The Effectiveness of Different Interventions on Body Weight and Fat of Obese Adult Females’, Int. J. Food, Nutrition and Public Health, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp.42-55.