Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (MS)

Committee Chair

Mott, Daniel J.


Obesity is currently characterized as a worldwide health pandemic. Despite many efforts to provide the optimal exercise prescription to obese and overweight individuals for maximization of fat loss and decreasing metabolic risks, findings in the literature continue to remain ambiguous. This investigation aimed to examine the effects of low- vs. high-intensity short-term training on body composition and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) under equivalent caloric expenditure in overweight and obese Hispanic adults of Laredo, Texas. Additionally, it aimed to analyze how changes in body composition and VAT affect serum levels of adiponectin and C-reactive protein (CRP),bioactive chemicals utilized in the detection of risk factors associated with obesity. Subjects were assigned to one of three 12-week exercise training programs: 1) No-exercise training (Control), 2) LIET (50% VO2max), and 3) HIET (70% VO2max). Central obesity and body composition were assessed using dual x-ray absorptiometry. Blood serum was analyzed for changes in adiponectin and CRP. A total of 45 Hispanic subjects, mean age: 28.1 ± 6.0 y and an average height of 161.0 ± 4.5 cm, participated in the study. Body mass index (BMI) changes were significant between the control vs. HIET (P < 0.001) and control vs. LIET (P = 0.019) after 12 weeks. Significant changes in %BF were observed in HIET vs. control (P = 0.022); no change was observed in LIET. No significant changes occurred in VAT, fat mass, lean mass, and total mass in all groups. Significant difference was found in adiponectin levels, in LIET vs. control (P = 0.019) and in HIET vs. control (P = 0.026) after 12 weeks. Changes in CRP were absent among all groups. This investigation reveals that physical exercise training, regardless of intensity, achieves reductions in BMI and % BF in the absence of weight loss and VAT reduction and improves cardiorespiratory fitness in obese women. The results do not clarify the influence of intensity on VAT and adiponectin.