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Wednesday
Jul112012

Study Reinforces Need for Policies that Promote Exercise

A recent study on the effectiveness of diet versus exercise has researchers recommending a tactical shift in the US’s fight against obesity, urging greater emphasis be put on exercise. Diet is still key, researchers say, but current obesity campaigns focus too much on restricting diet when physical activity should be the primary focus.

The study’s findings provide ample support for legislation aimed at getting more Americans exercising regularly. Bills such as the Workforce Health Improvement Program Act (WHIP Act/S. 1644) or the Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT Act/H.R. 2649), which are currently before Congress, provide tax incentives for Americans to purchase gym memberships. The Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act (FIT Kids/S.576/H.R. 1057), too, would provide better quality physical education in our nation’s schools. To learn more about these bills, visit ihrsa.org/campaign

“A healthy body weight is best maintained with a higher level of physical activity than is typical today and with an energy intake that matches,” explained James O. Hill, executive director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the lead author of the paper, in a statement. “We are not going to reduce obesity by focusing only on reducing food intake. Without increasing physical activity in the population we are simply promoting unsustainable levels of food restriction. This strategy hasn’t worked so far and it is not likely to work in the future.”

As Dr. Hill explains, “What we are really talking about is changing the message from ‘Eat Less, Move More” to ‘Move More, Eat Smarter.’” Read more about the study from HealthCanal.com.

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