OBESITY: You are what you eat – not how much you exercise
March 04, 2021 • 1 min read
-- Study shows that what you eat influences body weight more than how much you move
A new study may explain why more exercise does not equate to much, if any, weight loss.
Researchers comparing the lifestyles, diets and body composition of Amazonian children who live in rural, foraging communities with those of other indigenous children living in nearby towns found that both groups burn a similar number of calories.
While the rural children ran and played for hours, and were leaner than their urban counterparts, they did not burn more calories day to day – a surprising finding that implicates the urban children’s modernised diets in their weight gain.
Researchers concluded that, during evolution, humans developed an innate ability to reallocate our body’s energy usage. If we burn lots of calories with, for instance, physical activity, we burn fewer with some other biological system, such as reproduction or immune responses.
The result is that our average, daily energy expenditure remains within a narrow band of total calories, helpful for avoiding starvation among active hunter-gatherers, but disheartening for those of us in the modern world who find that more exercise does not equate to much, if any, weight loss.