Visceral fat accumulation in obese subjects: relation to energy expenditure and response to weight loss

R Leenen, K van der Kooy, P. Deurenberg, J C Seidell, J A Weststrate, F J Schouten, J.G.A.J. Hautvast

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Seventy-eight healthy obese subjects, 40 premenopausal women and 38 men aged 27-51 yr received a 4.2 MJ/day energy-deficit diet for 13 wk. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) and diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT) were measured by indirect calorimetry. Abdominal subcutaneous and visceral fat areas were calculated from magnetic resonance imaging scans before and after weight loss. Before weight loss, visceral fat accumulation was positively correlated with higher levels of RMR (P < 0.05) and DIT (P < 0.01) in women but not in men. The mean weight reduction was 12.2 +/- 3.5 (SD) kg. In men but not in women, an initially large visceral fat depot was associated with a reduced loss of weight and total fat mass (P < 0.05). Within each sex, an initial abundance of visceral fat was significantly related to a larger loss of visceral fat (P < 0.001) and in men to a smaller loss of subcutaneous fat (P < 0.05). These results suggest that there may be gender differences in the associations between visceral fat accumulation and components of energy expenditure (RMR and DIT) in obese subjects. Obese subjects with an initial abundance of visceral fat do not lose more body weight but more visceral fat than subjects with less visceral fat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E913-9
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology
Issue number5 Pt 1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1992


  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adult
  • Body Composition
  • Body Temperature Regulation
  • Diet
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity
  • Viscera
  • Weight Loss
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


Dive into the research topics of 'Visceral fat accumulation in obese subjects: relation to energy expenditure and response to weight loss'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this