Malpractice News

June 25, 2013

Exercise added to diet not helping obese kids

Though dieticians and doctors have long recommended that obese children and teens ought to add exercise to a healthy diet, a new study that analyzed past data has found that this approach isn’t as effective as has been purported.

Exercise import overemphasized

Gary Bennet, a researcher of obesity of prevention at Duke University, wanted to point out that for a balanced, healthy lifestyle, both diet regime and exercise should be combined, but added, “I think we sometimes overemphasize how important exercise is.”

Aerobic exercise made little difference

Researchers compared findings on 14 previous studies that placed both overweight and obese youth to either a diet program or a diet and exercise program. The durations of the programs varied from six weeks to six months. Both methods were successful in reducing the kids’ body mass indexes (BMI), however, “adding aerobic exercise such as jogging or dance to a restricted-calorie diet had little effect on weight loss.”

Weight often re-gained

Strength training was found to be more effective at reducing BMI by increasing muscle mass, which helps maintain weight loss long term. But no matter the method, the studies found that after the monitoring and strict diet control were over,  “kids gained back the weight—and any cholesterol or blood sugar benefits went away.”

Doctors and researchers still suggest both diet and exercise be implemented to control and reduce body weight, but of the two, Bennet said, “diet is absolutely critical.”

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