More Misleading News About Exercise
September 24, 2009
More than 45 million Americans now belong to a health club, up from 23 million in 1993. And yet obesity figures have risen dramatically in the same period.
The Time magazine article linked below asks the question -- Since many people get hungry after they exercise and eat more, could exercise actually be keeping them from losing weight?
"In general, for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless," says Eric Ravussin, chair in diabetes and metabolism at Louisiana State University and a prominent exercise researcher.
Many recent studies have found that exercise isn't as important in helping people lose weight as you hear so regularly in gym advertisements or on shows like The Biggest Loser -- or, for that matter, from magazines like Time.
The basic problem is that while it's true that exercise burns calories and that you must burn calories to lose weight, exercise has another effect: it can stimulate hunger. That causes us to eat more, which in turn can negate the weight-loss benefits we just accrued. Exercise, in other words, isn't necessarily helping us lose weight. It may even be making it harder.