Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exercise more, eat less? There’s a lot more to it, says scholar

Date:
April 28, 2014
Source:
Texas A&M University
Summary:
“When someone says of an obese person, ‘They should just eat less and exercise more,’ I say if it were that simple, obesity wouldn’t be the worldwide epidemic that it is,” says author of a new article, who studies the genetics of obesity. "It's a complex problem because there are so many drivers." Those drivers are divided into four categories: social, environmental, behavioral and biological.

“It’s a complex problem because there are so many drivers,” says Bouchard, author or coauthor of several books and more than 1,000 scientific papers, and a former president of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.
Credit: Image courtesy of Texas A&M University

"When someone says of an obese person, 'They should just eat less and exercise more,' I say if it were that simple, obesity wouldn't be the worldwide epidemic that it is." That's according to Dr. Claude Bouchard, a faculty fellow of the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS), a program that attracts eminent scholars from around the world for extended stays to study, teach and conduct research alongside Texas A&M students and faculty.

Related Articles


Bouchard, director of the Human Genomics Lab at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., studies the genetics of obesity and says there are dozens of factors involved in determining whether or not a person becomes overweight or obese.

"It's a complex problem because there are so many drivers," says Bouchard, author or coauthor of several books and more than 1,000 scientific papers, and a former president of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. "Approaches focus on only a few and forget that while we control them there is compensation taking place elsewhere; there are other drivers that come into play."

He divides those drivers into four categories: social, environmental, behavioral and biological.

Social factors include less access to nutritious foods, more recreational eating, powerful and constant advertising, large food portions, poor school meals, eating on the run, food pricing and fewer meals cooked at home.

Our physical environment affects eating habits as well, says Bouchard, such as the absence of sidewalks, reliance on automobiles, building design and environmental pollutants.

Behavioral factors such as spending less time in strenuous activity, taking medications known to increase body weight, the absence of breast-feeding, eating corn fructose syrup, an increase in sedentary jobs and high-fat diets.

And biological factors such as genetics, viruses, gut microbiota (microorganisms living in the intestine), adipose tissue (body fat) biology, and metabolic rates can all affect weight and many are not within a person's control.

"The biology is very complex," Bouchard notes. "The response to environmental, social and behavioral factors is conditional on the genotype of an individual. Your adaptation to a diet or a given amount of exercise is determined by your genes."

More research is needed, he says, but there is a strong probability that diet and exercise programs for weight control or disease prevention will one day be tailored to an individual's genetic makeup. He asks, "Can we meet the challenge of identifying genomic predictors of the ability of a given person to respond favorably to a specific combination of food and exercise? I believe that we can."

Bouchard and his colleague, Dr. George Bray, have edited the latest version of the "Handbook of Obesity," the definitive guide on the subject, which thoroughly discusses the many contributing factors, treatment and prevention of this chronic disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas A&M University. "Exercise more, eat less? There’s a lot more to it, says scholar." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428154842.htm>.
Texas A&M University. (2014, April 28). Exercise more, eat less? There’s a lot more to it, says scholar. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428154842.htm
Texas A&M University. "Exercise more, eat less? There’s a lot more to it, says scholar." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428154842.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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