Despite the fact that Americans are working out more than they did over a decade ago, they are still gaining weight. According to data from the researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, more than two-thirds of people are more physically active than they were ten years ago. Even with all of this added weekly vigorous activity, about one-third of men and women are classified as obese. The data showed that it was an increase in obesity from one-fourth of the country back in 2001.
Even though Americans are exercising more, the reason we are gaining weight is due to the fact that we are eating way more than we used to. “For every 1% increase in sufficient physical activity, obesity prevalence decreased by only 0.11%, indicating that diet may be more important than exercise in terms of controlling obesity,” said Joy Portella also from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
Americans are adding more numbers to the scale because of the battle between calories in versus calories out. Data is starting to indicate that changing your diet may be more important than hitting the ground running. This is not suggesting that cutting out exercising all together is the way to go. A combination of diet change and exercise is they key to living a healthy lifestyle. Researchers defined sufficient physical activity as 150 minutes of moderate activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. “We know that exercise has amazing virtues,” said Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Assn. “It helps prevent cardiovascular disease, build muscle tone and reduce bone loss. It improves mental health, and it reduces stress. … All of those are vitally important.”
Although the American people are increasing their exercise, they will continue to gain weight if they do not watch what and how much they are eating.