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Tanya Halliday, PhD, RD


Obesity is a significant public health concern, and modest weight loss substantially reduces the risk of chronic disease. Although lifestyle interventions involving exercise are often successful in promoting weight loss, maintenance of weight loss is often unsuccessful due to biological and behavioral adaptations that favor weight regain. The efficacy of exercise is often attributed to its effects on increasing energy expenditure, but exercise may assist in weight management efforts by improving appetite regulation and helping individuals to better control energy intake. However, research is limited, findings are inconclusive, and mechanisms by which exercise influence appetite regulation remain unknown. Furthermore, the majority of studies in this area have primarily focused on aerobic exercise, and the few studies on resistance exercise have primarily studied men. Therefore, it is unknown how different exercise modalities, and specifically resistance exercise, may uniquely influence appetite regulation and energy intake, and how responses may differ between men and women. The overall aim of this study is to examine sex-based differences in appetite regulation in response to acute exercise. Specifically, this project will evaluate how type of physical activity (aerobic vs resistance exercise) influences: 1. levels of hormones produced by the gastrointestinal tract that are known to play a role in determining how much food individuals consume; 2. Food-related cravings and self-reported hunger and satiety levels; and 3. Post-exercise food intake. Findings from this pilot trial will be important for refining the direction of future investigations in this area. Ultimately, this line of research is expected to lead to improved clinical guidelines for obesity management and development of effective and individualized treatment strategies.