Physical activity considerations for the treatment and prevention of obesity
Overweight and obesity present significant public health concerns because of the link with numerous chronic health conditions. Excess body weight is a result of an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. Physical activity is the most variable component of energy expenditure and therefore has been the target of behavioral interventions to modify body weight. It appears that physical activity is an important component on long-term weight control, and therefore adequate levels of activity should be prescribed to combat the obesity epidemic. Although there is evidence that 30 min of moderate-intensity physical activity may improve health outcomes, the amount of physical activity that may be necessary to control body weight may be >30 min/d. There is a growing body of scientific literature suggesting that at least 60 min of moderate-intensity physical activity may be necessary to maximize weight loss and prevent significant weight regain. Moreover, adequate levels of physical activity appear to be important for the prevention of weight gain and the development of obesity. Physical activity also appears to have an independent effect on health-related outcomes when compared with body weight, suggesting that adequate levels of activity may counteract the negative influence of body weight on health outcomes. Thus, it is important to target intervention strategies to facilitate the adoption and maintenance of an adequate amount of physical activity to control body weight.
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