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Could wearing weighted vests be 'better for weight loss' than physical activity?
By Tom Walker 12 May 2020
The test subjects were asked to wear a weighted vest eight hours a day for three weeks – and otherwise live as usual
For those looking to lose weight, wearing weighted vests could ensure better results than physical activity, according to a study by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Researchers studied 69 people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30–35, the lowest obesity category.

The test subjects were asked to wear a weighted vest eight hours a day for three weeks – and otherwise live as usual.

The participants were assigned to one of two groups – the control group wore only light vests weighing 1 kg, while the treatment group wore heavy vests weighing 11 kg.

When the three weeks had passed, those who wore the heavier vests had lost 1.6 kg in weight – while those wearing the light vests had only lost 0.3 kg.

“We think it’s very interesting that the treatment with the heavier weighted vests reduced fat mass, while muscle mass simultaneously remained intact,” says Professor Claes Ohlsson, one of the study's lead authors.

“The effect on fat mass we found, from this short experiment, exceeded what’s usually observed after various forms of physical training."

Professor John-Olov Jansson, co-author, added: "We weren’t, however, able to determine whether the reduction was in subcutaneous fat (just under the skin) or the dangerous visceral kind (belly fat) in the abdominal cavity that’s most strongly associated with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes."

Intriguingly, the study – called Increased weight loading reduces body weight and body fat in obese subjects – A proof of concept randomized clinical trial and published in the EClinicalMedicine journal – also indicates that there is "something comparable to built-in bathroom scales" that contributes to keeping people's body weight and fat mass constant.

In previous animal studies published in 2018, the team showed that there is an energy balance system that endeavours to keep body weight constant: the “gravitostat,” as they have dubbed it.

In mice, this regulation takes place partly by influencing appetite.

To work, the system must contain a kind of personal weighing machine. The researchers’ new clinical study shows that similar "built-in scales" exist in humans as well.

"Many questions about how the gravitostat works remain for us to answer," the researchers added.

"Aspects we want to study include whether, in wearers of weighted vests, changed energy expenditure, appetite and mobility help them to lose weight.

"We also want to see whether the weight reduction continues for the vest wearers over periods longer than three weeks, and whether the dangerous visceral fat is reduced by the treatment."

• To access and read the full study, Increased weight loading reduces body weight and body fat in obese subjects – A proof of concept randomized clinical trial, click here.


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NEWS
Could wearing weighted vests be 'better for weight loss' than physical activity?
POSTED 12 May 2020 . BY Tom Walker
The test subjects were asked to wear a weighted vest eight hours a day for three weeks – and otherwise live as usual Credit: Shutterstock/Pressmaster
The effect on fat mass we found, from this short experiment, exceeded what’s usually observed after various forms of physical training
– Claes Ohlsson
For those looking to lose weight, wearing weighted vests could ensure better results than physical activity, according to a study by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Researchers studied 69 people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30–35, the lowest obesity category.

The test subjects were asked to wear a weighted vest eight hours a day for three weeks – and otherwise live as usual.

The participants were assigned to one of two groups – the control group wore only light vests weighing 1 kg, while the treatment group wore heavy vests weighing 11 kg.

When the three weeks had passed, those who wore the heavier vests had lost 1.6 kg in weight – while those wearing the light vests had only lost 0.3 kg.

“We think it’s very interesting that the treatment with the heavier weighted vests reduced fat mass, while muscle mass simultaneously remained intact,” says Professor Claes Ohlsson, one of the study's lead authors.

“The effect on fat mass we found, from this short experiment, exceeded what’s usually observed after various forms of physical training."

Professor John-Olov Jansson, co-author, added: "We weren’t, however, able to determine whether the reduction was in subcutaneous fat (just under the skin) or the dangerous visceral kind (belly fat) in the abdominal cavity that’s most strongly associated with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes."

Intriguingly, the study – called Increased weight loading reduces body weight and body fat in obese subjects – A proof of concept randomized clinical trial and published in the EClinicalMedicine journal – also indicates that there is "something comparable to built-in bathroom scales" that contributes to keeping people's body weight and fat mass constant.

In previous animal studies published in 2018, the team showed that there is an energy balance system that endeavours to keep body weight constant: the “gravitostat,” as they have dubbed it.

In mice, this regulation takes place partly by influencing appetite.

To work, the system must contain a kind of personal weighing machine. The researchers’ new clinical study shows that similar "built-in scales" exist in humans as well.

"Many questions about how the gravitostat works remain for us to answer," the researchers added.

"Aspects we want to study include whether, in wearers of weighted vests, changed energy expenditure, appetite and mobility help them to lose weight.

"We also want to see whether the weight reduction continues for the vest wearers over periods longer than three weeks, and whether the dangerous visceral fat is reduced by the treatment."

• To access and read the full study, Increased weight loading reduces body weight and body fat in obese subjects – A proof of concept randomized clinical trial, click here.
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