The researchers are looking for men aged 18-35 years with a waist circumference of more than 94 cm (37 inches).
They believe that the physiological responses to exercise will be different when people exercise in the hours after consuming a meal and that this could affect the health gains derived from exercise. This is a controversial subject that has been very poorly investigated in the past.
Dr Dylan Thompson who is leading the research said: “People spend most of the day in a postprandial (fed) state, but we do not know whether people should be encouraged to exercise at specific times in relation to their meals.
“Many people will have their personal views on whether they should eat or abstain from eating prior to exercise but the evidence to support either perspective is simply missing.
“This study could have profound implications for the advice we give to people who are trying to exercise to lose weight or who want to maximise the return on their investment in exercise for health.”
Volunteers will be asked to attend a University laboratory for one short visit for preliminary measurements followed by two main trials when they will first be asked to rest with or without a meal and then perform a bout of moderate intensity exercise, such as walking, that will be in proportion to their fitness.
The researchers will take regular measurements throughout, but during rest periods volunteers will be able to work, read or watch a DVD.
In return for taking part, participants will receive detailed feedback regarding their metabolism and physical activity, body composition (from a DEXA scan), fitness level, blood measurements, such as cholesterol, glucose and insulin, and how their body responds to exercise under diverse dietary conditions.