Health and Well-Being-Exercise a must in fighting obesity

Physical activity is essential because it reduces the risk of being affected by the comorbidities of obesity. That's among the key conclusions reached during the proceedings of a conference, "Physical Activity in the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity," sponsored by the Indianapolis-based American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The proceedings were published in a special supplement to the organization's Nov. 10, 1999 edition of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

The conference co-chairs, Claude Bouchard, PhD, FACSM and Steven N. Blair, PED, FACSM, also authored the journal's introductory comments. These include: Obesity can be prevented, and dietary and physical activity habits can have a major contribution to body-weight regulation over and above genetic influences.

Simple tools

According to Bouchard, "it is well-established that regular physical activity has favorable effects on several of the comorbidities of obesity, particularly those pertaining to cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. Some data also indicate that mortality rates are lower in the overweight and moderately obese men and women who are physically fit compared to the unfit."

The panel agreed that obesity prevention tools are remarkably simple and within every individual's grasp. From the promotion of healthy eating habits to watching less television and walking more, reversing the obesity trend appears to be attainable by most, but challenging in the continued modernization of today's society.

Copies of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise are available from Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins at (800) 638-6423. You can contact the ACSM at 401 W. Michigan St., Indianapolis, IN 46202-3233. Telephone: (317) 637-9200. Fax: (317) 634-7817. Web site:www.acsm.org.