Arturo Figueroa, a researcher in the Florida State University College of Human Sciences, has confirmed with a team of researchers that Nutrisystem, with or without low intense resistance exercise, improves arterial function in obese, postmenopausal women.
In the study, "Effects of Diet and/or Low-Intensity Resistance Exercise Training on Arterial Stiffness, Adiposity and Lean Mass In Obese Postmenopausal Women," Figueroa and his colleagues were able to demonstrate that a hypocaloric diet may be recommended to reduce the increase in arterial stiffness associated with menopause and obesity. The study was published Jan. 7 in the American Journal of Hypertension.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in postmenopausal women. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease include obesity and hypertension, and are associated with increased arterial stiffness.
"The public health impact of hardened or stiff arteries in women is under-appreciated, and does not receive the attention of other cardiovascular risk factors," said Figueroa, an associate professor in Florida State's Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences.
Figueroa's study examined whether the combination of a hypocaloric diet and low intensity resistance exercise can be associated with greater improvements in arterial stiffness and body composition, compared against each of the treatments on their own in overweight or obese postmenopausal women. His team studied 41 participants, each of which was assigned to one of three treatment groups: low intensity resistance exercise therapy, a hypocaloric diet, or a combination of both.
Nutrisystem was used for the hypocaloric diet in this study, providing a pre-packaged, structured meal program to the participants. The exercise program consisted of four leg exercises at low intensity, requiring approximately 30 minutes per session.
"The purpose of this study was to combine two practical interventions for this group of women," said Dr. Bruce Daggy, a co-investigator on the study and the chief science officer of Nutrisystem. "Nutrisystem is readily available by home delivery, is easy to follow, and includes support tools for individuals on the program. Likewise, low intensity resistance exercise is something that almost everyone can do. It's not necessary to own the specific equipment used in this study."
It was noted that 39 percent of the women studied were class II or III obesity, which is associated with a higher risk of mortality.