Burning extra pounds with a long-term goal of weight loss don’t always produce results, and several factors can affect caloric intake. New research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine suggests one approach to exercising during obesity could reduce calorie burn in patients with incurable childhood obesity in hopes of decreases in weight gain and weight loss.

The study, published in the journal Obesity Reviews, will help identify modifiable potentially harmful behaviors that increase the likelihood of losing weight and improve delivery of lifelong weight regulation.

“This study was conducted to test the importance of examining the negative impact of obesity on cardiovascular fitness and vice versa for beige matter burn, which is a dynamic process sweeping through the entire body,” said senior author Robert Holman, Ph.D., chair of the department of physical education and rehabilitation at the school. “Obesity and chronic obesity are both linked with reduced caloric intake and weight gain to varying degrees. It may depend on weight and lifestyle, but is not restricted exclusively to overweight.”

The goal of the study was to determine which behaviors, especially those involving body weight, might help maintain or decrease calorie metabolism and weight gain in obese children. Respondents were asked to complete an online questionnaire, including items such as daycare, school, sports activity levels, television and television exposure, health monitoring, and food recalls.

More than 100 fitness-restrained obese 9- to 10-year-old children were recruited from a Pittsburgh-area community sample. The researchers limited their study to children only (n = 65), members of families living independently (n = 76), or living together (n = 234).

The study found that for children with incurable childhood obesity, increased caloric intake—from a baseline of 930 kcal per day to 169 13-week-old children—was associated with greater weight gain, body weight gain, waist circumference, body composition and overall metabolic health. Although this increase was small, the pattern is believed to be significant enough to translate to significant reductions in leptin resistance, a hormone that normally signals hunger upon intake of foods containing calories.

Similarly, increased eating behavior was associated with increasing peripheral fat, which was the primary factor distorting caloric intake.

Less adipose and visceral fat mass were correlated with gains in body weight and body composition.

mAt the lowest of the four repeating 100-pound (inclusive) overweight percentile groups, only 16 percent of participants reported any discomfort in eating and 88 percent reported no hunger sensations.

The researchers also found that dual-energy and metabolic methods—such as weight training and an oral application of pharmacologic doses of insulin or CRHBP (carbohydrates) to increase peripheral fat mass—were more effective in moving towards the healthy weight through exercise than in attempt to lose weight through diet therapy.

Overall, the study found that social and behavioral factors did not significantly influence differences in calories or body composition among healthy weight ranges, and neither did physical activity levels or diet.

Holman said his team believes its findings are significant enough to justify further clinical research to determine if there is a therapeutic approach for this common childhood obesity. “Cardiovascular fitness is a valuable predictor of future obesity and poor quality diets. Exercise offers a high-cost alternative to cure obesity. There’s a greater reduction in metabolic syndrome in patients with chronic incurable obesity and metabolic syndrome than in patients who do not have this condition,” he said.

Pursuing with data analysis, Holman said, “there may be a therapeutic approach for obesity and metabolic syndrome and obesity by examining the impact of exercise and the consumption of a diet supportive of protein and superior polyunsaturated omega-3 deficiency on children with obesity especially given the high impact of exercise.”