Activity energy expenditure and change in body composition in late life

Todd M. Manini, James E. Everhart, Stephen D. Anton, Dale A. Schoeller, Steve R. Cummings, Dawn C. Mackey, Matthew J. Delmonico, Douglas C. Bauer, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Lisa H. Colbert, Marjolein Visser, Frances Tylavsky, Anne B. Newman, Tamara B. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Change in body composition, specifically loss of fat-free mass and gain in fat mass, in older adults is a major pathway leading to the onset of functional decline and physical disability. Objective: The objective was to determine the association of activity-related energy expenditure with change in body mass and composition among older men and women. Design: Total energy expenditure (TEE) was assessed over 2 wk by using the doubly labeled water method in 302 communitydwelling older adults aged 70-82 y. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) was measured by using indirect calorimetry, and the thermic effect of meals was estimated at 10% of TEE. Activity energy expenditure (AEE) was calculated as [TEE(0.9) 2 RMR]. Total body mass, fat-free mass (FFM), and fat mass (FM) were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry annually over a mean (±SD) of 4.9 ± 1.3 y. Results: In multivariate models adjusted for baseline age, smoking status, and race, men and women had a decline (in kg/y) in body mass (men: -0.34, 95% CI: -0.71, 0.02; women: -0.45, 95% CI: -0.71, -0.19) and FFM (men: -0.48, 95% CI: -0.67, -0.29; women: -0.14, 95% CI: -0.026, -0.03). No changes (in kg/y) were observed in FM (men: 0.14, 95% CI: -0.10, 0.38; women: -0.28, 95% CI: -0.49, -0.07). In men and women, higher AEE at baseline was associated with greater FFM. The average change in these outcomes (ie, slope), however, was similar across tertiles of AEE. Conclusions: These data suggest that accumulated energy expenditure from all physical activities is associated with greater FFM, but the effect does not alter the trajectory of FFM change in late life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1336-1342
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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    Manini, T. M., Everhart, J. E., Anton, S. D., Schoeller, D. A., Cummings, S. R., Mackey, D. C., Delmonico, M. J., Bauer, D. C., Simonsick, E. M., Colbert, L. H., Visser, M., Tylavsky, F., Newman, A. B., & Harris, T. B. (2009). Activity energy expenditure and change in body composition in late life. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90(5), 1336-1342.