Deakin University

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Low ratio of fat to carbohydrate oxidation as predictor of weight gain: study of 24-h RQ.

journal contribution
posted on 1990-11-01, 00:00 authored by F Zurlo, S Lillioja, A Esposito-Del Puente, B L Nyomba, I Raz, M F Saad, Boyd Swinburn, W C Knowler, C Bogardus, E Ravussin
Reduced oxidation of fat leading to a positive fat balance could be a factor in the development of obesity. Twenty-four-hour respiratory quotient (RQ) was measured in 152 nondiabetic Pima Indians fed a weight-maintenance diet [87 males and 65 females; 27 +/- 6 yr (mean +/- SD); 93.9 +/- 22.9 kg; 32 +/- 9% fat]. Twenty-four-hour RQ varied from 0.799 to 0.903. Prior change in body weight, 24-h energy balance, sex, and percent body fat explained 18% of the variance in 24-h RQ (P less than 0.001). In a subgroup of 66 siblings from 28 families, family membership explained 28% of the remaining variance in 24-h RQ (P less than 0.05). In 111 subjects for whom follow-up data (25 +/- 11 mo) were available, 24-h RQ was correlated with subsequent changes in body weight and fat mass (r = 0.27, P less than 0.01 and r = 0.19, P less than 0.05, respectively). Subjects with higher 24-h RQ (90th percentile) independent of 24-h energy expenditure were at 2.5 times higher risk of gaining greater than or equal to 5 kg body weight than those with lower 24-h RQ (10th percentile). We conclude that in Pima Indians fed a standard diet 1) family membership is the principal determinant of the ratio of fat to carbohydrate oxidation, and 2) a low ratio of fat to carbohydrate oxidation is associated with subsequent weight gain independent of low energy expenditure and may contribute to the familial aggregation of obesity.



American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism




5 Pt 1


E650 - E657


American Physiological Society


United States





Publication classification

CN.1 Other journal article