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April 9, 2003

Exercise and Weight Loss in Obese Postmenopausal Women

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(14):1778. doi:10.1001/jama.289.14.1778-a

In Reply: We agree with Dr Otters and colleagues that the weight lost after 12 months of moderately intense exercise was modest, albeit statistically significant. We also found, however, that the loss of intra-abdominal body fat, measured by computed tomography, was clinically significant and dose-dependent. We concluded that previously sedentary postmenopausal women who exercised for approximately 200 min/wk lost 6.9% of their intra-abdominal fat while maintaining their energy intake. This amount of exercise is similar to current national recommendations of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week.1 Women who exercised less than the recommended amount also experienced significant losses in intra-abdominal body fat (a loss of 3.4% and 5.9% in women exercising ≤135 min/wk and 136-195 min/wk, respectively).

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