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Exercise and A Good Diet Important Even if No Weight Loss Occurs

Overweight people are often perceived as being at higher risk for certain diseases, regardless of their dietary and exercise habits. However, a recent study suggests that an overweight person who eats well and exercises regularly may be metabolically healthier than an overweight person who does neither.

Participants in the study included 181 children who were classified as obese. The researchers found that the children who ate more fruits and vegetables and less fatty meats and limited their screen time were healthier than their peers who did not do those things.

The researchers classified those children as metabolically healthy, which meant that they were at lower risk for obesity-related conditions such as type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. This held true even if the children did not lose weight.

While losing weight is still ideal in order to ward off those conditions, the researchers concluded that eating more healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, being physically active and limiting time spent in front of a tv or computer are also beneficial.

Researchers from the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 26, 2014, in Diabetes Care.

While this study shows that exercise and a balanced diet are important whether or not you lose weight, it’s also important to remember that obesity can have a number of negative effects on health. Each year, obesity causes approximately 300,000 premature deaths in the United States. The negative health effects associated with obesity include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome and sleep apnea.

Improving eating habits and increasing physical activity play a vital role in preventing obesity. It is recommended that we eat five to six servings of fruits and vegetables per day. It also recommended that we get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity every day.

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