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University of Colorado Denver

University of Colorado Denver


Faculty Profile


Assistant Professor

Department of Medicine

University of Colorado Denver


Physical Activity and Weight Loss Maintenance

Grants:  1) NIH K23 DK078913 "Energy Expenditure in Subjects Successful at Weight Loss Maintenance


Description of Research

I am currently funded by a NIH K 23 Mentored Patient Oriented Research Career Development Award, mentored by James Hill PhD and Holly Wyatt MD.  The goal of this proposal is to understand how and why high levels of physical activity are critical for long term maintenance of weight loss. 


While many people can achieve short term weight loss, weight loss maintenance is a true obstacle for most people.  It is generally accepted that successful long-term weight loss maintenance requires high levels of physical activity and previous studies of the NWCR database have found that this population reports extremely high levels of physical activity.  My previous accelerometer studies of this population also suggest these individuals engage in more exercise than both lean and obese controls. 

However, why high levels of physical activity are a critical component of weight loss maintenance is not clear, and no studies to date have specifically examined how physical activity impacts energy expenditure in the reduced obese state.  While no obesity expert would dispute the importance of achieving energy balance after weight loss in order to avoid weight regain, the means by which energy balance is achieved after weight loss may also be just as important for increasing the chances of long term success in weight maintenance. 


Over the next several years of this proposal we will use multiple technologies to explore the components of energy expenditure in individuals successful at weight loss maintenance as compared to both non-reduced weight matched and obese controls to gain insight into how physical activity facilitates the maintenance of weight loss. 



1-2 Most Significant Publications

1)    Catenacci VA, Wyatt HR.  A Review of the Evidence Examining the Role of Physical Activity in Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance, Nature Clinical Practice Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2007 Jul;3(7):518-29.

2)    Catenacci VA, Ogden LG, Stuht J, Phelan S, Wing RR, Hill JO, Wyatt HR.  Physical Activity Patterns in the National Weight Control Registry.  Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Jan;16(1):153-61.


Primary Focus Area (if part of the obesity initiative)

·         Weight Management


Secondary Focus Areas (if part of the obesity initiative)

·         Food intake


Access to Specialized Populations

·         National Weight Control Registry – individuals successful in long-term weight loss maintenance


Benefit of CNRU

The core laboratories of the CNRU are critical to my research success.  These laboratories provide services in a cost-effective manner than I could otherwise be able to use given the limited funding of my career development award.   


CNRU Cores Used

Energy Balance, Mass Spectrometry


CNRU Collaborations

Hill, Wyatt, Polsky, Melanson Kohrt, Hansen, MacLean, Bessesen, Grunwald, Ogden.
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