Are Exercise and Diet Equally Important?
January 08, 2005
The United States is in the midst of an enormous public health crisis: More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight, one-third of who suffer from obesity.
Contrary to popular belief, being thin does not necessarily mean one is healthy. And, while regular exercise can balance some of the harmful health consequences of being overweight, it certainly cannot remove them entirely. That is why, according to a study, weight and activity levels are powerful predictors of living a long life; the healthiest people are those who are both thin and physically active.
Researchers conducted studies involving female nurses in order to determine the affect of both exercise and weight on health.
Fit vs. Fat Findings
Women who were obese and inactive had a 2.5 times higher mortality rate than women who were lean and active
Those women who were active (despite being obese) were twice as likely to die a premature death than those who were lean and active
Lean women who exercised under 3.5 hours a week increased their risk of premature death by 55 percent, compared to those women who worked out more often
Obese women who worked out for at least 3.5 hours a week experienced a death rate that was 91 percent higher than lean women who exercised similarly
The premature death rate was 142 times greater for obese, inactive women
While physical activity does help improve health, excess weight can carry a number of significant health risks. Being obese triples the risk of heart disease, as well as produces a tenfold increase in the chance of developing diabetes.
The Ledger December 23, 2004
ABC News December 22, 2004