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Study: Obesity Surge Fueled by Sedentary Lifestyle

Written by Advanced Surgicare on November 7, 2017

Although diet can certainly play a role in causing obesity, it isn’t the sole contributing factor. New research shows that a lack of physical activity may actually be responsible for the surge in obesity rates. Here, Dr. V. Kuzinkovas, a Sydney weight loss surgeon at Advanced Surgicare, shares what you need to know about this study.

Researchers Discover a Link between Inactivity and Obesity

A team at the medical school of Stanford University in California looked at data from Centers for Disease Control’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, or NHANES. This survey was designed to capture information about the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. The data was taken from a combination of interviews and physical examination.

When the Stanford researchers parsed the data, they found that the number of women who reported abstaining from physical activity (in other words, living a sedentary lifestyle) rose from 19 percent in 1988 to 52 percent in 2010. Among men, the percentage rose from 11 percent to 42 percent.

What was interesting to the research team – obesity rates surged during the same timeframe: 10 percent more women and 15 percent more men were recorded as being obese in 2010 than in 1988. And yet the overall number of calories consumed stayed about the same between those years. This led the researchers to assume that people were:

  1. eating about the same
  2. moving less
  3. gaining more weight

The researchers asked themselves why more people were reporting less physical activity. Some believe that because sedentary activities like working on the computer, playing video games and using tablets or smartphones have become more popular in recent years, people aren’t moving their bodies as much as they used to.

In addition to possibly causing record high obesity rates, a sedentary lifestyle has other consequences. Sitting too much weakens the muscles, impairs blood circulation and increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. A team from Deakin University’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition in Australia found that sitting down tends to worsen anxiety.

What Conclusions Can We Draw?

It’s important to understand that the Stanford team’s findings didn’t confirm a causal relationship between inactivity and obesity; however, there is a strong correlation that deserves further investigation.

The lead author of the Stanford study, Dr. Uri Ladabaum, stated, “Although we cannot draw conclusions about cause and effect from our study, our findings support the notion that exercise and physical activity are important determinants of the trends in obesity.”

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that diet matters. People that are active should not eat whatever they want in supersized portions. Dr. Kuzinkovas shared some of his best diet tips in a previous blog post.

Contact Advanced Surgicare Today

Obesity is a complex problem associated with a number of factors. If you are struggling with the challenges of being very overweight, Dr. Kuzinkovas is very happy to help. Call Advanced Surgicare today on 1300 551 533 to book a consultation with our team.

Posted Under: Obesity