Americans Exercising More And Still Gaining Weight, Study Says

Americans are exercising more, but that has not done much to slim their waistlines, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In more than two-thirds of the nation’s counties — including some of the unhealthiest — men and women became more physically active over the last decade, according to data published Wednesday in the online journal Population Health Metrics.

The New York Daily News reported:

“Around the country, you can see huge increases in the percentage of people becoming physically active, which research tells us is certain to have health benefits,” IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray said in a press release.

“If communities in the U.S. can replicate this success and tackle the ongoing obesity impact, it will see more substantial health gains.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, women made more progress in raising the level of physical activity than men.

“The percentage of California women who got sufficient weekly exercise increased from 50.7 percent to 59.2 percent from 2001 to 2011, while the percentage of physically active men increased from 59.4 percent to 61.3 percent.”

These improvements have done little to reduce obesity, researchers at the University of Washington‘s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation concluded.

“There has been a lot of progress on physical activity,” said Christopher Murray, lead author of the research.

“But we probably also need to do more. There are still more calories coming in… than calories going out in physical activity.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

“During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7 percent) and approximately 17 percent (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.”

Even with the improvements, huge disparities exist in California and the U.S. in both exercise patterns and obesity, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“In the least healthy counties nationally, fewer than a third of women and fewer than four in 10 men got sufficient physical exercise, according to the report.”

What do you think of this results of this study? Can the people of the US be increasing their physical activity and still be continuing to gain more weight?

[Image via Shutterstock/Aleksandr Markin]