Study Shows Exercise Choices Matter in Obesity Prevention

Looking at the growing problem of childhood obesity it is easy to show the importance of exercise in preventing the younger generations from risking their health through a sedentary lifestyle. Researchers recently published study result showing that not only is exercise important, but also that the type of exercise also matters in the final result.

Looking at the growing problem of childhood obesity it is easy to show the importance of exercise in preventing the younger generations from risking their health through a sedentary lifestyle. Researchers recently published study result showing that not only is exercise important, but also that the type of exercise also matters in the final result.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Calgary and the University of Ottawa who evaluated more than 300 teens between the ages of 14 and 18. Participants were given 4 weeks of diet counseling and were then split into 4 distinct groups.

One group of participants was assigned a resistance exercise routine involving weight machines as well as free weights. The second group used a more aerobic approach with treadmills and other equipment, while a third used aerobic and resistance to train during the study. The fourth group was given no exercise routine at all.

In a statement from the team, Ron Sigal, MD, from the University of O’Brien Institute for Public Health of the University of Calgary and the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, called childhood obesity “an epidemic.” He said that with limited research done to determine which type of exercise was most efficient it was important to look at a variety of options.

Those in the exercise group were asked to work out 4 times a week for 22 weeks. Their body fat was measured using Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The researchers noted that 80% of obese children will take that excess weight into adulthood, which can contribute to a variety of chronic health issues as they get older.

Results from the study showed that the groups who exercised and dieted showed significant returns in body fat and weight loss. Among those who completed at least 70% of the program, participants who did combined aerobic and resistance exercise lost significantly more body fat than participants who only did aerobic exercise, said co-principal researcher Glen Kenny, MD, of the University of Ottawa

Kenny added that in those reaching higher levels of program completion, “waist circumference decreased close to 7 centimeters in those randomized to combined aerobic plus resistance exercise, versus about 4 centimeters in those randomized to do just one type of exercise, with no change in those randomized to diet alone.”

The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health with funding for Sigal’s work provided by Alberta Innovatives- Health Solutions.