Is there a dose-response relationship between physical activity and obesity?

January 01, 0001

Is there a dose-response relationship between physical activity and obesity?

The relationship between physical activity and obesity is a topic that garners much interest. These US authors examined whether total volume of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) has dose?response effects on obesity. They looked at 12?227 individuals using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative sample of the US population.

The researchers report: "The age-adjusted prevalence of women's obesity was 41.4 percent for those with no LTPA in the past month, 39.1 percent for those who engaged in LTPA but fell short of the recommended minimum amount of LTPA (ie, less than 450 metabolic equivalent minutes per week (MET-min/week)) 31.0 percent for those who met the recommended minimum guideline (ie, 450 to less than 750), 28.0 percent for those whose LTPA exceeded the minimum guideline but less than the first quartile among the overachievers (ie, 750 to less than 1260), 23.4 percent for the overachievers between the first and third quartile (ie, 1260 to less than 3556), and 19.5 percent for the overachievers at or above the third quartile (ie, 3556 MET- min/week or above). This association was maintained even after occupational physical activity (OPA) was controlled. However, this pattern was not observed for Mexican and black adults and showed a floor effect as LTPA increased."

The researchers concluded: "There is a crude graded inverse dose- response relationship between total volume of LTPA and obesity in US adult women, but not in men. Gender and racial/ethnic differences exist in the relationship of accumulated LTPA with obesity due, in part, to differential ratios of LTPA to OPA."

This study finds evidence of an inverse relationship between leisure time physical activity and obesity in females.

For the full abstract, click here.

Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 64(5):426-431, May 2010
© 2010 by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Leisure-time physical activity dose?response effects on obesity among US adults: results from the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Dong-Chul Seo, Kaigang Li. Correspondence to Dong-Chul Seo:

Category: T. Endocrine/Metabolic/Nutritional. Keywords: leisure time physical activity, occupational physical activity, dose-response relationship, obesity, NHANES, survey, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 25 June 2010

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