Association of sedentary and physical activity behaviours with body composition: a genome-wide association and Mendelian randomisation study
Background Studies suggest that body composition can be independently improved through physical activity or PA. This study’s objective is to test the incremental benefits of sedentary behaviour and various PA exposures on body composition outcomes as assessed by anthropometric indices, lean body mass or kg, body fat (%) and visceral adipose tissue or VAT. Methods Genetic instruments were identified for both self-reported and accelerometer-measured sedentary behaviour and PA. Outcomes included anthropometric and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry measures of adiposity, extracted from the UK Biobank and the largest available consortia. Key findings Researchers did not identify consistent associations between genetically predicted self-reported and accelerometer-measured sedentary behaviour and body composition outcomes. All analyses for self-reported moderate PA were null for body composition outcomes. Conclusion Researchers concluded that they were unable to identify evidence of a causal relationship between genetically predicted PA and body composition. Protective effects of PA against VAT may support prior evidence of biological pathways through which PA decreases risk of downstream cardiometabolic diseases.
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