Global Health News
Healthy Diet Won't Make Up for Lack of Exercise
Condensed by L.D. Ramirez (sourced from a Men's Health article by Jesse Hicks)
Otherwise healthy, smart-eating people who don’t exercise can still have a high risk of cardiovascular disease — in fact, they have the same risk as people who are overweight.
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that people with a healthy BMI, but who led sedentary lifestyles, showed roughly the same risk for cardiovascular disease as those with an overweight BMI.
In an interesting wrinkle, they also found that people who sit for long periods of time—which has recently been associated with unhealthy outcomes—had lowered cardiovascular risk if they were also physically active. In other words, exercise correlated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease even among people who otherwise sat a lot.
The findings, the authors argue, suggest that focusing on BMI as a healthy target may not be enough. People may reach what’s considered the appropriate weight for their size, but if they’re not exercising, the study shows, they may have the same risk as overweight people when it comes to cardiovascular disease.