Yoga practice is associated with attenuated weight gain in healthy, middle-aged men and women.

Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Wash, USA.
Alternative therapies in health and medicine (Impact Factor: 1.14). 01/2005; 11(4):28-33.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Yoga is promoted or weight maintenance, but there is little evidence of its efficacy.
To examine whether yoga practice is associated with lower mean 10-year weight gain after age 45.
Participants included 15,550 adults, aged 53 to 57 years, recruited to the Vitamin and Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort study between 2000 and 2002.
Physical activity (including yoga) during the past 10 years, diet, height, and weight at recruitment and at ages 30 and 45. All measures were based on self-reporting, and past weight was retrospectively ascertained.
Multiple regression analyses were used to examined covariate-adjusted associations between yoga practice and weight change from age 45 to recruitment, and polychotomous logistic regression was used to examine associations of yoga practice with the relative odds of weight maintenance (within 5%) and weight loss (> 5%) compared to weight gain.
Yoga practice for four or more years was associated with a 3.1-lb lower weight gain among normal weight (BMI < 25) participants [9.5 lbs versus 12.6 Ibs] and an 18.5-lb lower weight gain among overweight participants [-5.0 lbs versus 13.5 Ibs] (both P for trend <.001). Among overweight individuals, 4+ years of yoga practice was associated with a relative odds of 1.85 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.63-5.42) for weight maintenance (within 5%) and 3.88 (95% Cl 1.30-9.88) for weight loss (> 5%) compared to weight gain (P for trend .026 and .003, respectively).
Regular yoga practice was associated with attenuated weight gain, most strongly among individuals who were overweight. Although causal inference from this observational study is not possible, results are consistent with the hypothesis that regular yoga practice can benefit individuals who wish to maintain or lose weight.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The present study aimed to: 1) define the anthropometric and physiological profiles of female professional yoga practitioner compared to that of other athletes; 2) evaluate the energy expenditure (EE) during a yoga session. The percentage fat mass (FM%) and fat free mass (FFM%), the maximal aerobic power (VO2max), the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of knee extensor muscles and the maximal anaerobic alactacid power (Wmax) were assessed in a group of yoga practitioners (Yo), long distance runners (LDR), sprinters (Spr), karate practitioners (Ka) and sedentary control subjects (Con). EE was evaluated in Yo during a yoga session (execution of a sequence of six yoga postures, called asanas). FM% was significantly higher in Con (24.2±2.6%) than in other groups (18±1.9%, pooled data, P<0.05). FFM% did not differ among groups. VO2max was higher in LDR (55.6±1.8 mL min-1 kg-1) compared to other groups (41.7±3 mL min-1 kg-1, pooled data, P<0.05). MVC and Wmax were higher in Yo, Spr and Ka than in LDR and Con (P<0.05). In Yo, EE increased in comparison to baseline, during Sirasana execution only (+59%, P<0.05). These data suggest that chronic yoga practice is associated with 1) values of FM%, FFM%, MVC and Wmax similar to those induced by sports requiring high degree of force and power of lower limb muscles, with maximal aerobic performance similar to control subjects; 2) low EE during most asanas execution.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Yoga has become increasingly popular in the US and around the world, yet because most yoga research is conducted as clinical trials or experiments, little is known about the characteristics and correlates of people who independently choose to practice yoga. We conducted a systematic review of this issue, identifying 55 studies and categorizing correlates of yoga practice into sociodemographics, psychosocial characteristics, and mental and physical well-being. Yoga use is greatest among women and those with higher socioeconomic status and appears favorably related to psychosocial factors such as coping and mindfulness. Yoga practice often relates to better subjective health and health behaviors but also with more distress and physical impairment. However, evidence is sparse and methodological limitations preclude drawing causal inferences. Nationally representative studies have minimally assessed yoga while studies with strong assessment of yoga practice (e.g., type, dose) are generally conducted with convenience samples. Almost all studies reviewed are cross-sectional and few control for potential confounding variables. We provide recommendations for future research to better understand the correlates of yoga practice.
    Journal of Behavioral Medicine 01/2015; 38(3). DOI:10.1007/s10865-015-9618-5 · 3.10 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Obesity is a chronic illness with many determinants. Chronic stress is recently thought to be involved in the etiology of obesity. It produces endocrine and immune factors that may be responsible for behavioral effects on appetite and eating habits, comprising the elements of binge-eating disorder (BED). It has been suggested that effective therapy for obesity should be combination therapy involving diet and exercise, as well as behavioral or new biological therapies targeting neuroendocrine pathways. Yoga and acupuncture are reviewed for efficacy as adjunct therapies for obesity and BED. Yoga has compelling evidence for the efficacy of treatment, while acupuncture shows promise in reducing stress factors in animals but requires further research to clarify its value as a recommended therapy in humans.
    Topics in clinical nutrition 01/2011; 26(4):346-352. DOI:10.1097/TIN.0b013e3182379380