Leading US public health expert, Steven Blair will present new information and research findings at Sports Medicine Australia’s be active 2012 conference in Sydney from October 31 showing that physical activity has a greater impact on the war against obesity than we realise, and that too much emphasis has been placed on diet alone.
New research highlights that the relationship between calories ingested (through food and beverages) and calories expended (through exercise and daily life) in the maintenance of body weight is far more complex than commonly believed.
“Over the past few decades, obesity prevalence has been increasing around the world,” says Professor Steven Blair, from the University of South Carolina.
“Our results do not support the notion that the obesity epidemic is due to an increase in dietary intake, however it is due to chronic positive energy imbalance. Simply put, increasing your diet and decreasing your energy expenditure or a combination of the two.
“This has been supported with research proving a negative relationship between BMI and energy intake (i.e. diet) in both men and women,” said Blair.
Professor Blair says energy balance is concerned with the relationship between energy intake and expenditure. If intake equals energy expended, this means a neutral energy balance and weight is maintained. However, if the food eaten supplies more energy than the body burns, then this results in positive energy balance and weight is gained.
How you burn calories is also an important part of energy balance. While being physically active will burn more calories during the activity period, it will also set up the body to burn more calories when it is not being active. So when you compare the energy expenditure per kilogram of body weight, lean people burn significantly more calories than obese people do each minute of the day.
Blair says that the incorrect emphasis on diet has been evident for years.
“Data on dietary trends in the US show that there has not been an increase in kcal/day over the past 40 years, however, when these data took into account increases in body weight in the population there is even less support for the hypothesis that Americans are eating more,” said Professor Blair.
From this research, Blair says that the key message for obesity is that we must consider ALL components of energy balance, and not just energy intake.
“To develop effective strategies to manage the obesity epidemic, we must focus our attention on both sides of the energy balance equation and not to continue to ignore energy expenditure,” said Blair.
The concept of energy balance plus some new research findings will be presented at the be active 2012 conference.
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Media enquiries, interviews with researchers and passes:
Amanda Boshier, National Media Manager, mobile 0412 224 729, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven Blair is available for interviews during the duration of the be active 2012 conference.
Steven is a Professor at the University of South Carolina and is one of the most highly cited investigators in exercise science. His interests lie in the associations between lifestyle and health,
with a specific emphasis on exercise, physical fitness, body composition, and chronic disease.
be active 2012 will be held from October 31- November 3, 2012 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney.
The Conference will see over 1,200 attendees and will incorporate the:
- 4th International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health
- Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport
- Australian Physical Activity Conference
- Australian Sports Injury Prevention Conference
Session topics will include:
- Sedentary behaviour in children and young people
- Neuromuscular performance
- Exercise science
- Injury prevention
- Measures and tools for assessing environments and physical activity
- Patterns of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in adults
- Sitting, physical activity and health in children and young people
- Physical activity in people with disability or chronic illness
- Supplementation and doping
- Trends in physical activity and sedentary behaviour
- Fundamental movement skills in children and young people
- Active transport: adults
- Schools, teachers, and physical education
- Energy balance
- Workplace sitting
- Cardiovascular disease
More than 1,000 research papers will be presented.