Finally, I've found a good paper that compares aerobic versus anaerobic exercise. Researchers split obese adolescents into two groups: 1) traditional aerobic training at 60 - 70% of VO2max and 2) short 30 second sprints with long walk recoveries. Participants exercised 3 times per week for 40 to 60 minutes.
The result? The two groups showed equal weight loss. Both groups lost around 4 kg of fat and gained 1 kg of muscle over 12 weeks.
This study shows that it's the total number of calories expended that make the difference in weight loss. The aerobic group took the steady route to burn calories each session, while the walk/sprint group used bursts and recoveries. Though these two protocols may have different effects on other measures, such as hormones, if they burn the same number of calories they will lead to the same amount of weight loss.