There Is Only One Way to Lose Weight

If you're serious about shedding pounds, you have to eat less. It's as simple as that.

While exercise has many health benefits--including reducing the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer--it won't help you to lose weight.

That's the word from public health scientists Richard S. Cooper, M.D. and Amy Luke, Ph.D. of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. The two have been studying the link between physical activity and obesity for years.

When they started their research, they assumed that physical activity would prove key to losing weight. But the preponderance of evidence has shown that assumption to be wrong.

Why? If you increase your activity, your appetite increases and you compensate by eating more food. So with or without increasing physical activity, calorie control remains key to losing or maintaining weight.

"This crucial part of the public health message is not appreciated in recommendations to be more active, walk up stairs and eat more fruits and vegetables," the researchers wrote in the International Journal of Epidemiology. "The prescription needs to be precise: There is only one effective way to lose weight--eat fewer calories."

--From the Editors at Netscape

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