Objective: Individuals who have "metabolically obese normal weight" (MONW) have an increased risk for cardiometabolic disease. Moderate weight loss has multiple benefits in people with obesity, but its effects in lean people are unknown. Thus, the effects of diet-induced 5% weight loss on body composition and metabolic function in MONW subjects were evaluated.
Methods: Total body fat, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SAT) volumes, intrahepatic and intramyocellular lipid contents, insulin sensitivity (hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp), glucose tolerance, and postprandial insulin secretion and clearance rates (mixed meal with minimal modeling) were measured before and after 4.8% ± 0.5% weight loss in 11 MONW Asians (48 ± 3 years old, six men and five women, BMI 22.7 ± 0.4 kg/m2 ).
Results: Weight loss decreased total fat mass by ∼9%, VAT and SAT volumes by ∼11% and ∼17%, respectively, and intrahepatic fat by ∼50% (all P < 0.05). Fasting plasma insulin, triglyceride, and total low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were also reduced (P < 0.05). Insulin sensitivity indexes (M-value and M/I ratio) increased by 21% to 26% (both P < 0.05); β-cell responsivity and postprandial insulin secretion rate did not change, but insulin clearance rate increased by 16% (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Diet-induced moderate weight loss improves body composition, lipid profile, and insulin sensitivity and thereby reduces cardiometabolic risk in MONW Asians.