Thursday, June 29, 2017

Exercise Is Important in Obesity Treatment

There was a 2015 New York Time magazine article that argued that exercise alone is not a good way to lose weight. The author implied that a well-chosen diet was a lot more effective for losing weight than exercise. Indeed, what you eat counts more than your physical activity when trying to get rid of excess body fat. However, exercise is important in obesity treatment. Exercise can reduce the risks of a heart attack for an obese person, and exercise can reduce the "effects of the fat gene" according to a recent study

In the study, investigators looked at 9,427 middle aged people who didn’t have cardiovascular disease to see how exercise affected the protein called high-sensitivity cardiac troponin. This protein is viewed as a marker for heart damage.

Obese people who got “at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise” had lower levels of the high-sensitivity cardiac troponin protein and obese persons who did not engage in the recommended level of exercise. Investigators concluded that “physical activity prevents at least some of the heart damage associated with obesity.”

A gene called the “fat mass obesity associated” or FTO gene is known to heighten the risk of obesity. This gene was documented in 2007. A recent study concluded that exercise “can reduce the weight-gaining effects of the strongest known genetic risk factor for obesity, the FTO gene, by about 30%." This might even be important in areas other than obesity. One study has shown that a variant of the FTO gene can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

At any rate, even without weight loss, it appears that a person can lessen the effects of obesity on his or her health by engaging in exercise. Therefore, obesity medicine specialists should counsel their patients on the benefits of exercise with or without associated weight loss. 


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