Sports Medicine

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 363–373 | Cite as

The Effects of Exercise on the Storage and Oxidation of Dietary Fat

  • Kent Hansen
  • Tim Shriver
  • Dale SchoellerEmail author
Leading Article


Obesity has become a worldwide problem of pandemic proportions. By definition, obesity is the accumulation of excess body fat and it represents the long-term results of positive energy and fat balance. The failures in the regulatory mechanisms leading to the development of obesity are still not well understood, but there is growing evidence that exercise is an important element in obesity prevention. Exercise promotes energy/fat balance while providing beneficial alterations to obesity/overweight-related comorbidities and mortality. Also, exercise, in large part, influences whether the fate of dietary fat is storage or oxidation. Many factors including intensity, duration and type (aerobic vs anaerobic) of exercise, energy expended during exercise and individual fitness level impact the amounts of fat oxidised at any given time. Evidence suggests that moderate-intensity exercise yields the most cumulative (during and post-exercise) fat grams used for substrate in the average individual. All intensities of exercise, however, promote fat oxidation during the post-exercise period. We suggest that it is the effects of exercise on 24-hour fat balance that are most important in understanding the role of exercise in the prevention of fat accumulation and obesity.


Resistance Exercise Respiratory Exchange Ratio Plasma Free Fatty Acid Negative Energy Balance Increase Lipid Oxidation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This manuscript was partially supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants DK30031 and M01 RR03186. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review, with the potential exception that Dr Schoeller is a member of the Dairy Management Inc. Scientific Review Board.


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© Adis Data Information BV 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutritional SciencesUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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