More Fat Than Lean Mass Regained During Weight Regain

For postmenopausal women who regain weight, greater fat than lean mass accumulation identified

THURSDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- For postmenopausal women who regain weight in the year following intentional weight loss, fat mass is regained to a greater extent than lean mass, according to a study published in a recent issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Kristen M. Beavers, Ph.D., from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues investigated the composition of body weight regained after intentional weight loss, and compared it with the composition of body weight lost. The body compositions of 78 postmenopausal women were analyzed, and compared before the weight-loss intervention, immediately after the intervention, and six and 12 months following the intervention.

The investigators found that, compared to baseline, all body mass and composition variables were significantly lower immediately after weight loss. Weight loss resulted in more fat than lean mass lost, with changes in body-composition favoring a significantly lower percentage of body fat and higher lean-to-fat mass ratio. Considerable interindividual variability was seen with weight regain. The lean-to-fat mass ratio showed a significantly decreasing trend in women who regained 2 kg or more of body weight, indicating significantly greater fat than lean mass accretion. A total of 0.26 kg of lean tissue was lost for every 1 kg of fat lost during the weight-loss intervention, while 0.12 kg of lean tissue was regained for every 1 kg of fat regained over the following year.

"The data suggest that fat mass is regained to a greater degree than is lean mass in those who do experience some weight regain," the authors write.

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