Study under review: Comparisons of calorie restriction and structured exercise on reductions in visceral and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue: a systematic review
The increased risks associated with excess fat mass have been well established in the literature, and body fat appears to constitute a better metric than body mass index for determining cardiometabolic risk. Both the amount and distribution of body fat are important factors. As shown in Figure 1, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) appears to be more metabolically damaging than subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT). As their names imply, they are anatomically different, but they also display distinct metabolic properties. An increase in VAT is more strongly associated with metabolic disease, and hence, it constitutes a particularly valuable target for reducing cardiometabolic risk.
Reference: Després et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021 Aug. 
A negative energy balance is required to reduce fat mass, but it is theoretically possible that different ways of creating this negative balance reduce VAT and SAT differently. Therefore, the authors of this systematic review analyzed intervention studies that compared the effect of a negative energy balance induced by calorie restriction, exercise or both combined on relative loss of SAT versus VAT.
A higher body fat mass has been associated with increased metabolic risk, with visceral adipose tissue being of particular concern. It is currently unknown whether caloric deficits involving dieting, as opposed to exercise, can influence the relative loss of subcutaneous versus visceral adipose tissue. The aim of this study was to explore this question.
Other Articles in Issue #82 (August 2021)
Citrulline malate may help you pump out a few extra reps
According to this meta-analysis, taking six to eight grams before a resistance training session could help crank out a few more reps. There was some evidence of publication bias, though.
Nulls: May–June 2021
Here's a quick roundup of studies that looked for evidence of efficacy but came up empty-handed.
Deeper Dive: How do structural aspects of dietary carbohydrates determine glycemic response and appetite?
Starch structure seems to play a role in postprandial glycemic response but has no apparent impact on appetite hormones or satiety.
Mini: When are lifestyle changes enough to treat high blood pressure and cholesterol?
We give a quick rundown of a recent scientific statement from the American Heart Association on the impact of lifestyle changes on blood pressure and cholesterol.
Can beer hit the ‘pause’ button on menopause symptoms?
While this study found that beer could help with what ales people with menopausal symptoms, design and reporting issues hold this study back from being pitcher perfect.
Deeper Dive: Melatonin mysteries — can supplementation decrease circadian misalignment and body weight in night shift workers?
There was no apparent effect compared to placebo, but the study still hints at a positive impact.
Beyond strict meal planning: dietary flexibility won’t hurt body composition goals
This study suggests that people looking to shed some fat for physique can do equally well with flexible and rigid diet plans.