Energy and Macronutrient Intake in the Midwest Exercise Trial 2 (MET-2)

Richard A. Washburn, Jeff J. Honas, Lauren T. Ptomey, Matthew S. Mayo, Jaehoon Lee, Debra K. Sullivan, Kathleen Lambourne, Erik A. Willis, Joseph E. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose This study aimed to examine the effect of exercise training over 10 months at two levels of energy expenditure on energy and macronutrient intake in a sample of previously sedentary, overweight/obese young adults. Methods We conducted a 10-month trial in 141 young adults who were randomized to either supervised exercise 5 d·wk-1 at 400 and 600 kcal per session or nonexercise control. Participants were instructed to maintain their usual ad libitum diet. Energy/macronutrient intake was assessed at baseline and 3.5, 7, and 10 months over 7-d periods of ad libitum eating in a university cafeteria using digital photography. Foods consumed outside the cafeteria were assessed using multiple-pass recalls. Results There were no significant between-group differences in absolute energy intake at baseline or at any other time point in the total sample or in men. In women, absolute energy intake was significantly greater in the 600-kcal-per-session group versus controls at both 3.5 and 7 months. There were no significant between-group differences in relative energy intake (kcal·kg·d-1) at any time point in the total sample, in men or women. There were no significant within-or between-group differences of change in absolute or relative energy intake in any of the three study groups in the total sample or in men or women. No clinically relevant changes in macronutrient intake were observed. Conclusions Aerobic exercise training does not significantly alter energy or macronutrient intake in overweight and obese young adults. The possibility of a threshold level beyond which increased exercise energy expenditure fails to produce a more negative energy balance and potential sex differences in the energy intake response to increased levels of exercise are potentially important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1941-1949
Number of pages9
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 18 2015




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