Study Summary: Older individuals following a calorie-controlled Mediterranean diet with minimal exercise up to six days a week experienced muscle gain and significant body fat loss over a year, maintaining results for three years.
Body Composition Shift: The diet and exercise regimen led to a redistribution of body composition, converting fat into muscle, beyond mere weight loss, according to Dr. David Katz, a specialist in preventive and lifestyle medicine.
Visceral Fat Reduction: Participants not only lost overall body fat but also saw a decrease in dangerous visceral belly fat, associated with diabetes, heart disease, and stroke risk.
Significance of Visceral Fat: Excessive visceral fat, located deep within the abdomen, can cause inflammation and contribute to chronic diseases, emphasizing the health benefits of the study's outcomes.
Metabolic Changes: The study confirms the potential for profound metabolic status changes through diet and exercise, providing a basis for preventive health measures.
Invisible Threat: Visceral fat, though not visible, poses health risks when exceeding 10% of the body's total fat mass, as highlighted by the Cleveland Clinic.
Expert Commentary: Dr. Walter Willett, a leading nutrition researcher, underscores the need for a supportive environment and resources to facilitate the positive metabolic shift for individuals and society.
Global Health Initiative: The study aligns with the mission of the True Health Initiative, a global coalition promoting evidence-based lifestyle medicine, extending the benefits of diet and exercise to combat harmful visceral fat.