Can Physical Activity Prevent Weight Gain

Close examination of prevalence data indicates the need to focus intervention efforts on the prevention of weight gain. If effective, this will decrease the likelihood of a transition from normal weight to overweight or obesity, and decrease the transition from overweight to obesity. There is some evidence that LTPA can play a significant role in the prevention of weight gain; this is mostly likely a result of the increase in energy expenditure resulting from an increase in LTPA. For example, there are data from prospective observation studies that appear to support this hypothesis. Lee and Paffenbarger (9) concluded that participants in the Harvard Alumni Study who reported levels of physical activity consistent with approx 30 min of moderate-intensity physical activity had a lower body weight when compared with individuals reporting lower levels of physical activity. When change in cardiorespiratory fitness is used as a surrogate for change in LTPA, the data reported by DiPietro et al. (10) demonstrate the inverse association between change in fitness and change in body weight, which also supports the importance of physical activity in the prevention of weight gain in adults.

The application of these prospective, observational findings need to be apply to interventions to have a meaningful impact on weight gain prevention. In fact, Sherwood et al. (11) reported that an increase in physical activity was predictive of prevention of weight gain. Moreover, preliminary data are available from an ongoing clinical trial that is being conducted in our research center. Results indicated that an increase in physical activity (150 to 300 min/wk) resulted in prevention of weight gain or modest weight loss (1-2 kg) in approx 60% of overweight adults (BMI =25.0-29.9), with change in fitness predictive of prevention of weight gain (unpublished data).

These findings are important when considered in context of the recommendations for physical activity in the prevention of weight gain that appeared in the 2005 US Dietary Guidelines, which stated that to prevent weight gain there is a need for individuals to "engage in approximately 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week while not exceeding caloric intake requirements." Clinicians should consider individually tailoring these recommendations based on the response of the participant. For example, it has been established that approx 30 min of moderate-intensity physical activity per day on most days of the week can result in a significant reduction in the risk of chronic diseases. Thus, individuals should increase to this level of activity and determine whether this level of physical activity is sufficient to prevent weight gain. If it is not, the recommended level of physical activity can gradually be increased (e.g, 30 to 35 min/wk, 35 to 40 min/wk, etc.) until weight gain ceases. This is illustrated in the flow chart provided in Fig. 2.

Keep Your Weight In Check During The Holidays

Keep Your Weight In Check During The Holidays

A time for giving and receiving, getting closer with the ones we love and marking the end of another year and all the eating also. We eat because the food is yummy and plentiful but we don't usually count calories at this time of year. This book will help you do just this.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment