Article Review : Diet Or Diet Plus Physical Activity
It has been known for some time that diet and physical activity are important for weight management and overall health. However, the role of diet vs. diet plus physical activity in weight management has been unclear. In a recent article, Pasiakos et al. examined the effect of energy-restricted diets with or without physical activity on body composition, cardiometabolic risk factors, and circulating levels of adipokines and myokines in overweight and obese adults.
They found that diet and diet plus physical activity resulted in similar improvements in body composition and cardiometabolic risk factors. In addition, they found that the addition of physical activity to a diet did not result in any further improvements in these outcomes.
These findings suggest that diet is the most important factor in weight management and that physical activity may not be necessary for those who are trying to lose weight. However, physical activity is still important for overall health, and the authors suggest that it should be included as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Dietary intake and physical activity are important determinants of weight status. Excess weight is a risk factor for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Although the focus of many weight-loss programs is on dietary change, the role of physical activity in weight management is often underappreciated. Increasing physical activity can help to reduce excess weight and prevent weight regain.
The purpose of this review is to evaluate the evidence for the effects of diet plus physical activity compared with diet alone on weight, adiposity, and cardiometabolic risk factors.
A comprehensive search of the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases was conducted for eligible studies. We included randomized controlled trials that compared diet plus physical activity with diet alone for weight loss or weight-related outcomes in overweight or obese adults.
A total of 17 randomized controlled trials including a total of 2507 participants were included in the final analysis. All 17 trials reported significant improvements in weight with diet plus physical activity compared with diet alone. The pooled estimate for the difference in mean weight change between the two interventions was -2.97 kg (95%CI: -4.16, -1.78 kg).
There was also a significant difference in the change in waist circumference between the two intervention groups (-2.37 cm, 95% CI: -3.82, -0.93 cm).
Diet plus physical activity resulted in significantly greater improvements in cardiometabolic risk factors compared with diet alone. The pooled estimate for the difference in fasting blood sugar levels between the two interventions was -0.65 mmol/L (95% CI: -1.11, -0.20 mmol/L).
Diet plus physical activity is more effective than diet alone for weight loss and improving cardiometabolic risk factors. This intervention may be particularly beneficial for those who are struggling to lose weight.