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Body composition, energy expenditure and physical activity

Effects of the menopausal transition on energy expenditure: a MONET Group Study

A Corrigendum to this article was published on 08 January 2014



Factors that influence weight gain during the menopausal transition are not fully understood. The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in energy expenditure (EE) across the menopausal transition.


In all, 102 premenopausal women (age: 49.9±1.9 years; body mass index: 23.3±2.2 kg/m2) were followed for 5 years. Body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), physical activity EE (accelerometer), resting EE and thermic effect of food (indirect calorimetry) were measured annually.


Total EE decreased significantly over time in postmenopausal women (P<0.05), which was mostly due to a decrease in physical activity EE (P<0.05). Although average resting EE remained stable over time in postmenopausal women, a significant increase, over the 5-year period, was noted in women who were in the menopausal transition by year 5 (P<0.05). Finally, the time spent in moderate physical activity decreased and the time spent in sedentary physical activity increased during the menopausal transition (P<0.05).


These results suggest that menopausal transition is accompanied with a decline in EE mainly characterized by a decrease in physical activity EE and a shift to a more sedentary lifestyle.

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We thank the participants for their devoted participation and the staff of Behavioral and Metabolic Research Unit (BMRU) for their contribution to this study. We especially want to thank Ann Beninato for her significant role in the collection of the data and overall study coordination. This study was supported by CIHR (Canadian Institute for Health Research) Grants: 63279 MONET study (Montreal-Ottawa New Emerging Team). K Duval is a recipient of the FRSQ (Fonds de la recherche en Santé du Québec) Doctoral support program. R Rabasa-Lhoret is a recipient of the FRSQ clinical researcher scholarship and holds the J-A DeSève chair.

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Correspondence to É Doucet.

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Duval, K., Prud'homme, D., Rabasa-Lhoret, R. et al. Effects of the menopausal transition on energy expenditure: a MONET Group Study. Eur J Clin Nutr 67, 407–411 (2013).

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  • energy balance
  • energy expenditure
  • menopausal transition
  • body composition

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