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Diet or Exercise? Which one Works best for Obesity?

Updated on September 20, 2014

Lack of exercise can lead to obesity



Obesity has become an epidemic in many parts of the world. In developing countries like India, obesity co exists with malnutrition.

Diet and nutrition play a great role in the development of obesity.

Consumption of energy rich, nutrient deficient food items is the major factor contributing to obesity.

Obesity statistics

As per World Health Organisation's statistics

· More than 1 billion adults are overweight worldwide

· At least 300 million of them are clinically obese

· Current obesity levels range from below 5% in China, Japan and certain African nations, to over 75% in urban Samoa.

Obesity in Children


Obesity in children

Obesity in children is also on the increase. 22 million children under five are estimated to be overweight worldwide.

The level of physical activity has reduced among children globally. Children spent more time in front of computers and televisions.

This lack of physical activity coupled with the consumption of energy rich nutrient deficient fast food items have led to the development of childhood obesity.

Variation in the Distribution of Fat


Abdominal obesity.

It is not only the amount of fat on your body but the distribution of fat also matters. There is a striking difference in the distribution of fat among Indians.

There is accumulation of fat around the waist which is called apple obesity or truncal obesity or abdominal obesity.

Risk of diseases like diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases increases with abdominal obesity.

Will a diet for losing weight help in controlling obesity?

Facts about obesity are widely available now in newspapers, television channels and internet. Many of them give stress to healthy weight loss and the importance of physical fitness.

What do you do to maintain your body weight?

See results

Which is more effective?

Diet plan for weight loss?

Diet and exercise program?

Exercise for losing weight?

Following a weight loss diet will of course be helpful in reducing obesity and weight management for people who eat indiscriminately and excessively. There is a tendency to put on weight if the diet is high in fat and energy.

Importance of physical exercises

It is better to look for exercises for obesity than to look for a diet for weight loss. Exercise plays a major role in reducing weight than diet. If you look at people eating more or less the same quantity and type of food, some of them may be obese and overweight whereas some may be having normal weight. That is because of the increased level of activity among the latter group. A regular exercise plan will help in safe weight loss.

A study on abdominal obesity

A case-control study of dietary habits, physical activity and risk for abdominal obesity among working women was conducted in India to identify the prevalence and risk factors of abdominal obesity.

The results showed that 82.35% of the women participated in the study were abdominally obese. The women followed more or less the same pattern of diet. But the difference was in the amount of physical activity they had.

The authors concluded that women need to develop a regular pattern of physical activity in addition to their work at office and home.

This study emphasises the importance of physical exercises and the need to have a regular program of exercise for weight loss.

It reinforces that lack of physical exercise is the most important contributing factor for the development of obesity.

Importance of physical fitness

A soft couch and television are the two enemies for a physical fitness programme. The couch is so inviting that often we plan to sit and watch a television programme for half an hour. But we find ourselves lying on the couch more than the expected period. We also notice that we will be munching on something while watching TV.

Healthy weight is all about physical fitness. People who maintain a healthy weight can be sure that they are free of most of the lifestyle related illnesses.

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