Does exercise training affect resting metabolic rate in adolescents with obesity? Academic Article uri icon

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  • We evaluated the hypothesis that resistance exercise training performed alone or in combination with aerobic exercise training would increase resting metabolic rate (RMR) relative to aerobic-only and nonexercising control groups. Postpubertal adolescents (N = 304) aged 14–18 years with obesity (body mass index (BMI) ≥ 95th percentile) or overweight (BMI ≥ 85th percentile + additional diabetes risk factor(s)) were randomized to 4 groups for 22 weeks: Aerobic exercise training, Resistance exercise training, Combined aerobic and resistance exercise training, or Control. All participants received dietary counselling targeting a daily energy deficit of 250 kcal. RMR was measured by indirect calorimetry and body composition by magnetic resonance imaging. There was no significant change in RMR in any group, in spite of significant within-group increases in fat-free mass in the Aerobic, Resistance, and Combined exercise training groups. RMR at baseline and 6 months were Aerobic: 1972 ± 38 and 1990 ± 41; Resistance: 2024 ± 37 and 1992 ± 41; Combined: 2023 ± 38 and 1995 ± 38; Control: 2075 ± 38 and 2073 ± 39 kcal/day (p > 0.05). There were no between-group differences in RMR after adjustment for total body weight or fat-free mass between groups over time. Per-protocol analyses including only participants with ≥70% adherence, and analyses stratified by sex, also showed no within- or between-group differences in RMR. In conclusion, despite an increase in fat-free mass in all exercise groups, 6 months of aerobic, resistance, or combined training with modest dietary restriction did not increase RMR compared with diet only in adolescents with obesity.


  • Alberga, Angela S
  • Prud’homme, Denis
  • Sigal, Ronald J
  • Goldfield, Gary S
  • Hadjiyannakis, Stasia
  • Gougeon, Réjeanne
  • Phillips, Penny
  • Malcolm, Janine
  • Wells, George A
  • Doucette, Steve
  • Ma, Jinhui
  • Kenny, Glen P

publication date

  • January 2017

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