Fitness versus fatness

A finding that cardiorespiratory fitness is more important than fat loss for people suffering so-called 'Syndrome X' has landed a Queensland researcher a New Investigator Award.

Joyce Ramos, a PhD candidate from The University of Queensland School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, received the honour from Sports Medicine Australia.

"Our investigation focused on people with metabolic syndrome, also known as 'Syndrome X' or insulin-resistance syndrome," Ms Ramos said.

"The syndrome affects those with a combination of obesity plus any two of the following factors - raised triglycerides, reduced HDL cholesterol, raised blood pressure and raised fasting plasma glucose.

"We found that cardiorespiratory fitness, not body fat, is independently associated with the function of pancreatic beta cells, which produce and secrete insulin, regulating blood glucose level.

"To reduce mortality in this patient group, improving cardiorespiratory fitness should have a higher priority to that of fat loss."

Presenting under the abbreviated title of Fitness versus Fatness, Ms Ramos was declared best new investigator at the 2015 Sports Medicine Australia Conference at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast.

Co-authors of her study were UQ colleagues Professor Jeff Coombes and  Professor Robert G Fassett, Lance Dalleck of Western State Colorado University and Fabio Borrani of The University of Lausanne.

Ms Ramos was also recently lead author on a  research paper in journal Sports Medicine which determined vascular benefits of high-intensity interval training against moderate-intensity continuous training.

Another UQ winner at the Sports Medicine Australia Conference was Dr Toby Pavey, awarded for his presentation Is the recommendation of 300 minutes of physical activity a week achievable?

Dr Tina Skinner's paper Do Women experience the same ergogenic response to caffeine as men?   was selected as one of the conference's top 30 papers for the pre-conference award judging.

Dr Luke Kelly gave two invited presentations to the Cricket Australia Symposium and ASICS Footwear Symposium, while also chairing a round-table discussion about footwear and running.

Professor Wendy Brown hosted two symposia on physical activity and Dr Glen Lichtwark presented to the Australian and New Zealand Society of Biomechanics Symposium.

Meanwhile, Mia Schaumburg  hosted the Oral Contraception and Menstrual Cycle in Exercise and Sports Medicine Research Symposium.

Professor Andrew CresswellDr Anita Green and Dr Kelly were thanked for their role on the organising committee for the conference, to be held next year at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.