Vigorous Exercise Moderates Diet-Induced Weight Gain

Men and women running more than 8 km per day have lower BMI increase per meat or fruit serving

FRIDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Vigorous exercise, such as running, may reduce the risk of weight gain by high-risk diets, according to a study published in the November issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Paul T. Williams, Ph.D., from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, investigated whether diet-weight relationships are attenuated by vigorous exercise. Data gathered from 62,042 male and 44,695 female participants of the National Runners' Health Study underwent age- and education-adjusted cross-sectional regression analyses. Reported intake of fruit and meat were assessed separately, and as high-risk diet indicators.

The investigator found that males who ran an average of 5.30 km per day, and females who ran an average of 4.79 km per day were generally lean (as assessed by body mass index [BMI]), educated, and middle-aged. The correlation between BMI and reported meat and fruit intake was significantly attenuated by running in both males and females. Compared to men and women running less than 2 km per day, those running more than 8 km per day reduced the evident BMI increase by 43 and 55 percent, respectively, per serving of meat; and by 75 and 94 percent, respectively, per serving of fruit. The concordant correlation between reported meat intake and waist and chest circumferences in men, and meat intake with hip circumference in women were also attenuated by running.

"These observations suggest an important advantage to achieving and exceeding minimum guideline physical activity levels, which is to reduce the risk of weight gain by high-risk diets, as characterized by high-meat and low-fruit content," the authors write.

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