Weight Control More Important than Exercise

The Physicians Committee

Weight Control More Important than Exercise

December 28, 2015


A new study suggests that weight control is more important than exercise for health. Researchers at Sweden’s Umea University evaluated the weight and aerobic fitness levels of 1.3 million 18-year-old Swedish men, then followed them for an average of 29 years. Although aerobic fitness reduced the overall death rate, the benefits of exercise were reduced in obese individuals, and normal-weight individuals who were not aerobically fit had a 30 percent reduced risk of mortality, compared with obese individuals who were aerobically fit. The results suggest that both weight control and exercise are beneficial, but that weight control may be more critical for long-term health.

Hogstrom G, Nordstrom A, Nordstrom P. Aerobic fitness in late adolescence and the risk of early death: a prospective cohort study of 1.3 million Swedish men. Int J Epidemiol. Published online December 20, 2015.


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