An international study led by Loyola University Chicago is providing compelling new evidence that exercise is not the key to controlling weight.
Researchers who studied young adults of African descent from the United States and four other countries found that neither physical activity nor sedentary time were associated with weight gain. The study is published in the journal PeerJ.
"Our study results indicate that physical activity will not protect you from gaining weight," said lead author Lara R. Dugas, PhD, MPH. Dugas is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
Physical activity has many proven health benefits, ranging from reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer to improving mental health and mood. People who are physically active tend to be healthier and live longer. But while physical activity burns calories, it also increases appetite, and people may compensate by eating more or by being less active the rest of the day.
Some experts have suggested that a decline in physical activity, especially in the workplace, has been a key contributor to the obesity epidemic. But research such as the new Loyola study, in which physical activity is objectively measured and participants are followed over time, has not found a meaningful relationship between weight gain and physical activity.
The Loyola study is one of the primary outcomes of the Modeling the Epidemiologic Transition Study (METS). Researchers followed 1,944 adults aged 25 to 40 living in five countries: the United States, Ghana, South Africa, Jamaica and Seychelles (an island country east of Africa). The American participants live in Maywood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Participants are predominantly of African descent and represent a broad range of social and economic strata.
Read more at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-02-evidence-key-weight.html#jCp