Commentary: Relative importance of diet vs physical activity for health

Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
International Journal of Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 9.2). 12/2009; 39(1):209-11; author reply 213-4. DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyp348
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this paper was to review current evidence on physical activity for health in order to support the foodbased dietary guideline (FBDG) “Be active!”. Physical activity, defined as at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day for adults, and 60 minutes for children and adolescents, is advised in the FBDG because of the role it plays in maintaining energy balance, improving body composition and promoting general health and wellbeing. The reviewed outcome measures are changes in physical activity patterns and the reported prevalence of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in South Africa. Despite the previous set of FBDGs, no improvements in physical activity, obesity or NCDs have been reported in South Africa. Recent literature emphasises the beneficial effects of physical activity on the reduction of risk factors associated with the prevalence of NCDs. Physical activity has a positive effect on appetite and weight control, insulin sensitivity, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, stress relief and burnout. Barriers that prevent children and adults from participating in regular physical activity have been identified, and recommendations how to overcome these have been made. It has been concluded that South Africans are not sufficiently physically active for their general health status to be improved. It is recommended that methods to promote physical activity at national, provincial, district and local level need to be developed, implemented and sustained
    South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition 08/2013; 26(3)(Supplement):S18-S27.
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    ABSTRACT: Globally, obesity is affecting an increasing proportion of children. Physical activity plays an important role in the prevention of becoming overweight and obese in childhood and adolescence, and reducing the risk of obesity in adulthood. Puberty and the following adolescent period are acknowledged as particularly vulnerable times for the development of obesity due to sexual maturation and, in many individuals, a concomitant reduction in physical activity. In many Western settings, a large proportion of children and adolescents do not meet recommended physical activity guidelines and, typically, those who are more physically active have lower levels of body fat than those who are less active. Active behaviours have been displaced by more sedentary pursuits which have contributed to reductions in physical activity energy expenditure. Without appropriate activity engagement there is an increased likelihood that children will live less healthy lives than their parents. Owing to the high risk of overweight adolescents becoming obese adults, the engagement of children and adolescents in physical activity and sport is a fundamental goal of obesity prevention.
    British journal of sports medicine 09/2011; 45(11):866-70. DOI:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090199 · 4.17 Impact Factor
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    British journal of sports medicine 09/2011; 45(11):839-48. DOI:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090228 · 4.17 Impact Factor


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