Monday, August 15, 2022

New insights on how some individuals with obesity can lose weight – and keep it off


 News Release 11-Aug-2022
The University of Ottawa-led team’s rigorous study has the potential to help reshape the science of weight-loss programs so they can be personalized for individual patients with difficult-to-treat obesity
Peer-Reviewed Publication
University of Ottawa


Now, compelling new research published in the journal eBioMedicine challenges the deeply ingrained idea that diet alone should be adequate for everyone seeking to shed pounds.

The important conclusions could significantly improve public health by guiding the advent of personalized treatment plans that will help individuals with difficult-to-treat obesity lose weight – and keep it off.


Understanding distinct obesity phenotypes is key to teasing out insights into individual variations in weight loss. And for “diet-resistant” obesity— patients in the bottom 20% for rate of weight loss following a low-calorie diet—exercise training should be prioritized, as it decreases fat mass and boosts skeletal muscle metabolism.

The research team mined clinical data from over 5,000 records. Ultimately, 228 files were reviewed and a subset of 20 women with obesity were identified to undergo a closely supervised exercise program made up of 18 progressive sessions using treadmills and weights done three times per week for six weeks.

Using bioinformatics and machine learning approaches to analyze skeletal muscle, the results indicate that exercise preferentially improves skeletal muscle metabolism and enhances weight loss capacity for individuals with obesity who are deemed diet resistant.

These are the type of patients with difficult-to-treat obesity who have often been accused of non-adherence when they have not lost weight with diet restriction.

“For those individuals who have obesity and who've had enormous difficulty losing weight, the message for them is: You are in a group of individuals for whom exercise is particularly important. And that’s really going to help you lose weight,” says Dr. Ruth McPherson, a leader in cardiovascular genetics who is a professor at the uOttawa Faculty of Medicine and director of the Ruddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre, Atherogenomics Laboratory and the Lipid Clinic at the Ottawa Heart Institute.


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