Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What's more important in the obesity battle –- physical activity or medical treatment?

Date:
May 26, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Experts disagree about the best way to tackle the obesity crisis. While some acknowledge that "physical inactivity is a major contributor to the global burden of disease," they say that it would be wrong to only focus on this and ignore the problem of obesity.

Experts disagree in the British Medical Journal about the best way to tackle the obesity crisis. While Professor Louise Baur and colleagues from the Children's Hospital at Westmead and the University of Sydney in Australia acknowledge that "physical inactivity is a major contributor to the global burden of disease," they says that it would be wrong to only focus on this and ignore the problem of obesity.

Related Articles


Baur and colleagues argue that physical inactivity is just one marker and that there is substantial evidence that unhealthy diets low in fibre and high in sugar and large portion size are also responsible for obesity and the diseases associated with it.

However, Dr Richard Weiler, a specialist registrar in sport and exercise medicine at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and general practitioner, and colleagues believe that inadequate cardio-respiratory fitness causes disease more than excess body fat, waist size and body mass index.

Weiler and colleagues maintain that "physical inactivity is one of the greatest health threats facing developed nations today" and they are concerned that 95% of the populations in England and the United States do not meet the recommended guidelines of doing 30 minutes moderate to vigorous physical activity on at least five days a week or equivalent.

They say this is alarming given that physical inactivity rather than obesity per se is an actual cause for many illnesses including obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, mental health problems, high blood pressure and dementia.

Spending huge amounts on treating obesity is not the right way forward, they argue. Weight loss drugs and surgery are risky and the long-term benefits are limited and they certainly do not have the associated health benefits linked to physical activity. They conclude that it is time for health policy and healthcare professionals to focus on fighting physical inactivity, a "chronic disease that has an adult population prevalence of 95%."

Professor Baur, on the other hand, believes that "on its own, improving physical activity will have little impact on reducing overall levels of already established obesity."

She believes that obese people need access to high quality treatment provided by well-trained professionals to deal with their weight and any linked health problems.

In conclusion, Professor Baur and colleagues advocate tackling obesity with a range of strategies, for example, increasing physical activity, improving diet and lifestyles. They say urban planning should be developed to encourage people to use their car less and cycle more and public transport should be made more accessible and affordable.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Timothy P Gill, Louise A Baur, and Lesley A King. Should health policy focus on physical inactivity rather than obesity? No. British Medical Journal, 2010; 340: c2602 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c2602
  2. Richard Weiler, Emmanuel Stamatakis, and Steven Blair. Should health policy focus on physical activity rather than obesity? Yes. British Medical Journal, 2010; 340: c2603 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c2603

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "What's more important in the obesity battle –- physical activity or medical treatment?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525202305.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, May 26). What's more important in the obesity battle –- physical activity or medical treatment?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525202305.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "What's more important in the obesity battle –- physical activity or medical treatment?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525202305.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins