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Inactivity Not Driving Obesity Epidemic

January 8, 2009: 04:49 PM EST
Physical activity may not be a major player in maintaining healthy weight, suggest the authors of a study comparing women from Chicago and Nigeria. Researchers from Loyola University Health System and other centers compared the two groups, and found that they burned about the same amount of energy through physical activity – 760 calories a day in Chicago, and 800 a day in Nigeria. The Chicago women averaged 184 pounds in weight, and the Nigerian 127. "Decreased physical activity may not be the primary driver of the obesity epidemic," said Loyola nutritionist Amy Luke, Ph.D, one of the study authors. Colleague Richard Cooper, Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, notes that people burn more calories when they exercise, but they compensate by eating more. Diet was the most likely factor in the weight difference, the researchers found. The Nigerian women consumed more fiber and carbohydrates, and less fat and animal protein than the Chicago group, whose diet was 40 percent to 45 percent fat and high in processed foods.
"Researchers: Physical Activity May Not Be a Key Factor to Obesity Epidemic", Nutrition Horizon , January 08, 2009, © CNS Media BV
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