Publication Date

Spring 2017

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Jill Maples (Director), Rachel Tinius, and Lee Winchester

Degree Program

Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport

Degree Type

Master of Science


PURPOSE: Obese women have increased rates of metabolic diseases compared to those of healthy weight status. Additionally, African-American (AA) women have higher rates of metabolic disease compared to Caucasian (CA) women. Metabolic inflexibility is the inability to adjust substrate oxidation in response to dietary intake; potentially leading to weight gain and the development of metabolic disease. Few studies have investigated the impact of weight status and/or ethnicity on the metabolic response of women to a single high fat meal. An acute unfavorable metabolic response may contribute to the higher incidence of metabolic disease among not only obese, but also AA women. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the impact that weight status (lean vs. overweight/obese) and/or ethnicity (CA vs. AA) has on metabolic health in women in response to a single high fat meal. METHODS: CA (n= 15; age=26.27±5.65 yrs; BMI=30.72±11.92kg/m2) and AA (n= 12; age=26.75±6.65yrs; BMI=28.32±6.91kg/m2) women consumed a high fat shake (1062 calories, 56% fat). Blood was drawn and resting energy expenditure (REE) and substrate oxidation (estimated using indirect calorimetry) were assessed at baseline/fasted (T1), 120 minutes post-shake, (T2) 240 minutes post-shake (T3). RESULTS: Lipid and carbohydrate oxidation significantly increased among all women in response to the high fat meal (p<0.01). Significant increases in fat oxidation were seen from T1-T2 for all women (CA lean: +57.9±24.5%; CA overweight/obese: +30.2±11.8%; AA lean: +10.2±18.1%; AA overweight/obese: +40.6±52.6%; p<0.01). Among the CA women only, CA lean women displayed a significantly higher increase in fat oxidation in response to the meal compared to CA overweight/obese women, but there were no differences among lean and overweight/obese AA women. Similarly, weight status influenced changes in apolipoproteins after consuming the high fat meal among CA women, but not AA women. CONCLUSIONS: CA lean women displayed the most metabolic flexibility in response to the high fat meal. A metabolic system that is less able to respond to metabolic stimuli such as a high fat diet (as noted in all groups compared to lean CA women) may play a role in the increased metabolic disease prevalence among obese and AA women.


Endocrinology | Kinesiology | Nutrition

Available for download on Wednesday, May 01, 2019