A1 Journal article (refereed)
Leisure-time physical activity and intra-abdominal fat in young adulthood : a monozygotic co-twin control study (2016)

Rottensteiner, M., Leskinen, T., Järvelä-Reijonen, E., Väisänen, K., Aaltonen, S., Kaprio, J., & Kujala, U. (2016). Leisure-time physical activity and intra-abdominal fat in young adulthood : a monozygotic co-twin control study. Obesity, 24(5), 1185-1191. https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.21465

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsRottensteiner, Mirva; Leskinen, Tuija; Järvelä-Reijonen, Elina; Väisänen, Karoliina; Aaltonen, Sari; Kaprio, Jaakko; Kujala, Urho

Journal or seriesObesity



Publication year2016


Issue number5

Pages range1185-1191


Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access


Objective: To investigate differences in abdominal fat compartments between young adult monozygotic twin pairs discordant for leisure-time physical activity. Methods: Ten young adult male monozygotic twin pairs (age range 32-36 years) discordant for leisure-time physical activity during the past 3 years were systematically selected from a population-based Finnish twin cohort. Magnetic resonance image at the level of the L2-L3 intervertebral disc was used to predict intra-abdominal and subcutaneous abdominal fat masses. Dietary intake was assessed with a 4-day food diary. Results: Inactive twins had 31% more intra-abdominal fat than their active co-twins (mean difference 0.52 kg, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.91, P = 0.016), whereas the difference in subcutaneous abdominal fat was only 13% (P = 0.21) and 3% in body mass index (P = 0.28). Intraperitoneal fat mass was 41% higher among inactive twins compared to their active co-twins (mean difference 0.41 kg, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.70, P = 0.012). Dietary intake did not differ between co-twins. Conclusions: A lower level of physical activity is related to greater accumulation of intra-abdominal fat among healthy adult males in their mid-30s. The findings highlight the importance of leisure-time physical activity independent of genes and diet in the prevention of intra-abdominal fat accumulation from early adulthood onward.

Keywordsmenphysical activitydieteticsimmobilityabdominal cavityadipose tissuesfat percentagelipid metabolismtwin research

Free keywordsphysical activity; abdominal fat; young adulthood; comparative study

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2016

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2023-13-12 at 15:13