Study author Dr. Matthew Bouchonville of the University of Mexico Health Sciences Center and the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Albuquerque said metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic problems that increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease: Abdominal obesity as shown by a large waist circumference, low "good" cholesterol and high triglycerides, high blood pressure and high blood glucose blood sugar.
The researchers investigated the independent and combined effects of diet-induced weight loss and regular exercise in a one-year randomized, controlled clinical trial. They randomly assigned 107 obese adults ages 65 and older to one of four groups: Weight management using a calorie-restricted diet, exercise three times a week for 90 minutes each without dieting, combined dieting with exercise and a control group with no diet or exercise.
Ninety-three participants completed the study. The insulin sensitivity index did not improve in the exercise-only group or the control group.
However, the study found the insulin sensitivity index improved on average by 40 percent in the diet group and by 70 percent in the combined diet-exercise group, Bouchonville reported to The Endocrine Society's 94th annual meeting in Houston.